Accidents at Work Scotland – How to Avoid Factory Accidents
Scotland is famous for its robust manufacturing and engineering history, with Glasgow in particular having a global reputation as a pioneer of shipbuilding and avid producer of glass, textiles and chemicals over the last couple of centuries. So, it will come as no surprise that many of Scotland’s workforce are employed in the manufacturing industry to this day, where they find themselves working in a factory setting. Accidents at work in Scotland are therefore a possibility.
As with any job, there are risks involved, and actions need to be taken to reduce the chance of an employee sustaining a workplace injury. The types of injuries you could sustain from working in a factory can vary from minor to serious, with 22 fatal injuries in the manufacturing industry reported by the HSE in 2021/2022. With this frightening statistic in mind, our personal injury team has put together their top five tips for avoiding an accident at work in the factory.
Top tips for staying safe at work in the factory
Wear the correct PPE
Making sure that you wear the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) can help to reduce the chance of injury in the workplace. Wearing high-visibility clothing allows you to be seen more clearly by your colleagues on the factory floor – and this is especially important when vehicles like forklift trucks are being used in the same factory area as other workers. Factories are often home to large shelving units and pallet racks, which means the risk of falling debris or objects is heightened. Employees must also ensure that they always wear the correct head and foot protection, like hard hats and steel toe-capped boots, to reduce the chance of serious injury.
Keep walkways clear
It makes sense that the more crowded the floor space is in a factory, the higher the likelihood is of an accident happening. Making sure that goods and tools are stored safely will help to prevent work injuries sustained from falls and trips. Keeping paths free from obstacles will also reduce the risk of an accident happening involving moving vehicles. Keeping access routes clear and separating pedestrians from areas where moving vehicles are used will also help to keep the factory environment safe.
Mop up any spillages
Slips in the workplace are one of the most common work accident claims in Scotland, causing 30% of non-fatal injuries in the workplace in Great Britain each year. In a busy factory environment, chemical and other liquid spillages can occur regularly. If a liquid is spilled on the factory floor, make sure you alert your colleagues and erect the appropriate warning signs. Following this, make sure the spill is cleaned effectively and keep the warning signs up until the floorspace has completely dried out and the risk of an accident happening has been avoided.
Use machinery and tools safely
If you are operating tools or heavy machinery like forklifts in the factory, make sure that you only use them for their intended purpose. Follow all recommended handling techniques, and make sure you only operate a machine if you are trained in doing so. Employees who are trained in using certain tools or machinery are better able to recognise potential hazards associated with using them, and take the steps necessary to reduce accidents at work happening.
Practice safe manual handling techniques
Depending on the type of factory you work in, you may be required to move objects without the aid of larger machinery. If you do, you must practice safe manual handling techniques to avoid a work injury. Manual handling injuries are common, with 18% of work injuries caused by manual handling accidents in 2021/2022. Your employer has a duty to provide adequate manual handling training, so that you can safely move, push, lift or carry objects around the factory. If you incorrectly lift or push something, you could sustain manual handling injuries like strains, sprains, neck and back injuries.
Have you been injured in an accident at work in Scotland?
As employees, it’s important that you follow the health and safety guidelines set out by your employer. However, if your employer has failed in their duty of care, and you have been injured in an accident at work as a result, you are entitled to claim for compensation.
Speak with our accident at work Scotland solicitors today by filling out the form below, or by calling us on 0131 555 7055. Our personal injury solicitors offer straightforward legal advice, without jargon – so you always know where you stand in the process.