Workplace injuries are very common. In 2018 alone, there were 2.8 million non-fatal workplace injuries recorded in the United States.
Industries, like the construction industry, face a lot of safety hazards. However, with the right safety measures in place, some workplace accidents can be prevented.
It is a widespread misconception that small businesses are risk-free. However, workplace hazards are a risk in every business, and proper measures and guidelines should be put in place to prevent all mishaps or accidents that might occur in the workplace.
Here are some tips that can help mitigate risks to any business and prevent some of the most common accidents.
Training is one crucial measure for preventing hazards in the workplace. You and your employees need to know not only how to identify a hazard, but also what to do when faced with a risk. Employees can be trained according to their posts or positions at work.
Comprehensive training should be a must, and you should also make sure that all your employees know the essential things to do to prevent hazards. For example, training your employees on how to use the different types of fire extinguishers that you have in the workplace can help stop a fire before it causes much damage to the property or the employees themselves.
2. Risk Assessment
Identifying potential safety hazards is yet another tip that can help keep your business and workers safe. It is the responsibility of the employer to keep their employees safe and provide them with a safe working environment. Once you have trained your employees, they will help you identify the risks they face, and this can help find the best way to deal with them.
You can also choose to partner with other professional companies, occupational therapists, safety experts that are familiar with risk assessment code to help you make your workplace safe. Identifying the potential risks in your business is the first step towards reducing workplace-related injuries and accidents.
3. Have Open Lines of Communication
Every employer, supervisor, or manager should be approachable. This way, the employees can let the management know of any hazards or risks that they face in their specific lines of duty. Your employees should be able to freely share their safety concerns with you as the employer or your management team.
Where possible, have regular meetings to discuss and review safety rules, so that you can know what you should improve on or which other measures you can put in place to ensure safety. Remember, the people on the ground are better placed to help identify all safety hazards.
4. Get Rid of the Mess
If the workplace is messy, chances are it is prone to accidents. Depending on your work environment, whether an office, construction site, or a warehouse, you should ensure that boxes are properly stacked, all spills are quickly cleaned, damages to the floor are repaired to avoid trips, and the walkways are shoveled and salted after winter.
Watch out for electrical wires and tangled cords that are also a major cause of trips and falls in the workplace. You should also conduct regular inspections of the office or job site environment.
5. Use Labels and Signs
Some of the most powerful tools that you can use to remind the employees of the safety protocols or measures to take are signs and labels. They are also good at communicating warnings. Try to ensure that all hazardous materials, restricted areas, open pits, exits, fire points, and more are clearly labeled.
You can also use picture labels with the right OSHA color codes. Your employees should also be aware of what every color means.
6. Provide PPE
It is the duty of the employer to ensure that all the employees have the right Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that they need. This is a requirement by the law. The employees should also be trained on how to wear the safety goggles, earplugs, hard hats, masks, gloves, earmuffs, boots, and any other PPE that they are using correctly.
PPE, when used correctly, can significantly reduce the risk or severity of an injury.
7. Have a First Aid Kit
If you have a large worksite, you should place first aid kids in several different places throughout the job site. First aid kits should also be well-stocked, and employers should also ensure that some employees are trained in first aid.
8. Create an Emergency Action Plan
It is natural to panic whenever there is an emergence of incidence. Not only should you have a working emergency plan, but you should also conduct some emergency drills like fire drills, to ensure that your employees know what to do in case of an emergency.
Create a system that you can use to know your employee’s whereabouts quickly, and if you have trained first responders, they should also know what to do when faced with an emergency.
9. Proper Storage
If tools and equipment are not stored correctly, they can be a safety hazard. Every tool should be stored in its place to avoid using the wrong tools. When storing items, always remember to place heavy items low and distribute weight evenly across the shelves or cabinets.
10. Regular Equipment Repair and Maintenance
To avoid equipment malfunction, all the machines and equipment that you use should be well maintained and promptly repaired by qualified technicians. This way, the machine operators and other employees will be safe and more productive.
Conduct regular equipment inspections and encourage your employees to report any malfunctions immediately to avoid workplace hazards.
Implement All Safety Protocols From the Start to Prevent Safety Hazards
Even though workplace safety is a continuous process, it starts from day one. To prevent safety hazards, you should pay close attention to risks and other safety details even before you bring in your employees. As your employees come, they should be able to follow the safety requirements and work according to the safety measures in place.
Please share this article with others to help them understand how to stay safe in their areas of work.