You just can’t predict when unexpected falls, machinery mishaps or accidents at work are going to happen! What you can do is prevent them from happening. Did you know that in 2017, approximately 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported by private industry employers- That is a lot of absence within the workplace! By putting in the extra effort into your working environment, ensuring safety for your employees shows that you care about their well-being and may improve workforce morale and productivity.
Falls in The Workplace
Unfortunately, trips and falls are one of the most common types of work-related injuries. One swift, sharp movement, you can hurt your body and your dignity. Slips, trips, and falls often can be avoided by keeping workspaces free of clutter; less to trip over means fewer injuries.
Keep walkways clear, boxes and files organized and properly stored, and electrical cords secured and covered. Use drip pans and guards when dealing with a liquid, and clean any spill immediately- This may be on the floor or on a working surface. Placing rugs and other skid-resistant surfaces in areas that might become slippery when wet can reduce falls.
Pro tip: Add extra rugs in entryways to prevent slippery floors during rainy and snowy seasons.
Employees should refrain from standing on chairs, especially those with wheels- Yes, it is easy to use a chair to change a smoke alarm battery or a light bulb- but think about it. Using the correct equipment can help prevent the worse scenario.
If you need assistance with something out of reach, use a step ladder that is placed on firm, level ground, or connect with the on-site specialist or maintenance team. Really, it is just basic common sense!
Struck or Caught By Objects
Struck by or caught on an object is another common concern. Stack boxes straight up and down, but avoid piling them to the point where they become unstable.
Remember to store heavy objects close to the floor to help lower the risk of being injured if a cabinet or bookshelf falls over. Beware of fully-extended file cabinet drawers because the cabinets are prone to toppling over- Hopefully, they will have their own safety devices on them depending on age.
Equipment not being used correctly is one of the most prevalent causes of workplace injuries.
Each staff member should be thoroughly trained in how to use equipment common to daily tasks and operations.
Additionally, ensure each piece of equipment is used for its intended purpose and handled correctly. Regularly cleaning and inspecting equipment also can help certify that it’s safe to use- This should be done annually.
Make sure your employees are wearing protective clothing such as safety glasses, helmets, or gloves when operating equipment to provide extra protection in the workplace at all times.
Fire Safety in The Workplace
Fire hazards remain an ongoing concern., but you should have at least one designated fire marshal in the workplace at all times! The best safety precautions to take is by making sure all electrical cords are in good condition because damaged cords can be a serious problem- This could happen whilst you are at work or through the night.
Limit the use of space heaters and never leave one unattended or left on overnight! If you do need to use a space heater, keep it away from paper products, coats and confirm it has a fail-safe for turning off if it tips over. Keep fire escape routes clear, and never block or shut off fire sprinklers. Verify all workers are aware of the company’s fire exit strategy by holding annual fire drills. Annually review fire alarms and extinguishers to be sure they are working and up to date.
Combustible Materials in The Workplace
If using combustible materials in the work environment, keep only the amount needed on hand and store materials in fire-safe containers in an assigned storage area. Using industrial vacuums to frequently clean workspaces also helps prevent dust accumulation and fires.
Make Sure Your Employees Take Breaks
Many work-related injuries occur when a worker is tired and isn’t paying close attention to surrounding dangers. Whether you’re sitting at a computer all day or doing manual labor, it’s important to take breaks to rest your mind and your body.
We know that workplace injuries can never fully be avoided, they can be decreased massively.
Administrative staff play a key role when identifying and eliminating potentially harmful conditions. When conducting workplace walk-throughs, take this list of safety tips and see how many can be applied to your current work environment. Talk to employees about their needs and concerns, educate them on safety procedures, and establish a reporting system for potential hazards so that issues can be addressed before they cause a future workplace injury.