There are several common workplace safety issues which can lead to terrible injuries for employees and visitors, drastically increasing workplace liability. These simple-to-identify workplace hazards can be easily prevented and reduce the possibilities for injury. Here are some tips, tricks, and ideas for ways to keep your workplace safe.
Workplace Safety Slips, Trips, and Falls
Slips, Trips, and Falls (STFs) make up 25% of workplace injury claims in the US according to the US Department of Labor, costing employers millions each year, not to mention the loss of employee productivity, workplace disruption, and the burden on those injured and their families. Vigilance is important and requires 100% compliance by employees. Helping employees to see they have the power to prevent an accident is key.
- Train staff to always check floors for hazards throughout the day as they go about their work.
- Clean up all possible tripping hazards immediately.
- Use wet floor signs when necessary. Make this a requirement of all employees when mopping.
- Clean up debris - wet leaves spilled food and soda, and greasy floors, can all lead to injuries.
- Have active video cameras on a thirty-day loop to prevent liability disputes if one arises.
- Use non-slip mats periodically and at entrances and exits as a slip break to prevent falls.
- Require all employees to wear non-slip shoes or appropriate foot coverings for the environment.
- If work is repetitive, encourage micro-breaks that include stretching to refresh alertness.
- Close filing and desk drawers after use to prevent tripping hazards.
- Ensure all lighting is properly maintained to keep visibility optimal for spotting hazards.
- Make sure all cables are secured and out of the way. Avoid using extension cords.
- If appropriate, keep a counter of how many days since last accident and post prominently.
Workplace Safety Collisions and Fire Hazards
Collisions with others and objects is another common cause for injuries in the workplace.
- Encourage staff to move in a moderate and safe way through the building.
- Keep work areas clean and clutter-free.
- Keep chairs tucked in out of the way, especially rolling chairs.
- Make sure chairs are working properly and replace any damaged ones.
- Put up convex mirrors around blind corners to prevent employees’ collisions.
- If heavy equipment is in use, put up signs and block off areas where used to protect employees.
- Wear protective equipment when dealing with hazardous chemicals or materials.
- Provide easy-to-access eye washing and showering stations near chemicals as appropriate.
Workplace Safety and Lifting and Repetition Injuries
If the job requires a lot of lifting or repetitive movements, there are many simple ways to help reduce and even prevent injuries in this way.
- Computer users are automatically at risk for repetitive movement injuries so encourage breaks.
- Provide training and guidance on safe lifting practices in the workplace.
- Require anything over 50 pounds to have a co-worker’s assistance to lift.
Preventing these common workplace injuries should be every employee’s responsibility. By cultivating an atmosphere of mutual responsibility and comradery, you can ensure employees will not only watch out for themselves but each other as well.