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How can effective PPE reduce employee injury figures?

How can effective PPE reduce employee injury figures?

The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the workplace is essential to helping tackle the spread. PPE is also needed for safety reasons when performing dangerous tasks, something which cannot be forgotten even in the midst of a global pandemic.

The latest figures from the HSE, which tracks safety at work, show that many of the accidents that led to employee injury and absence could be avoided with a more stringent focus on health and safety.

What are the current workplace injury figures?

According to the latest 2019/20 report from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), 693,000 workers sustained non-fatal injuries at work in the last year, of which 24% resulted in an absence of more than seven working days.

The Labour Force Survey estimated that this ensued in a total of 6.3 million working days lost due to non-fatal injuries. The majority of these injuries (29%) were caused by slips and trips, followed by handling and lifting  issues(19%), being struck by a moving object (11%), acts of violence (9%), and falling from a height (8%).

On top of this, there were also 111 fatal injuries in the workplace over the past year, the majority of which were attributed in the official report to falling from a height.

How can PPE help reduce employee injury figures?

PPE can offer protection against the various hazards that cause injury, reducing the likelihood of your team being an accidental victim of typical workplace hazards. Of course, the type of PPE suitable for each person will vary depending on job role and workplace environment but at a minimum:

  • Face shields and googles can provide eye protection to reduce the risks of accidental injury due to chemical splashes, dust, or projectiles;
  • Helmets and hard hats can protect from falling objects and head injury
  • Overalls can protect against extreme temperatures, chemical splashes, harsh weather, or other contamination;
  • Safety boots can help avoid slips and trips and offer the feet protection from falling or heavy objects.  

While PPE is effective in protecting against these hazards, the PPE has to be appropriate for the job at hand so it’s important that you refer to the standards and suitability marked on each product. It is estimated that the current frequency of workplace injury is costing the UK £5.6 billion each year. Sourcing the correct PPE is vital for not only caring for your employees, but also for maintaining the financial wellbeing of your business and its productivity levels.

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