Guide to Workplace Safety
Did you know that more than 2 million workers die every year as a result of occupational accidents or diseases caused by improper work conditions? That’s almost 6,000 people every day. Most if not all of these deaths can be prevented by implementing correct workplace safety procedures.
But what are the most important workplace safety tips? And do you apply them daily within your company? Keep reading this article to learn more about workplace safety and what you can do to protect the health of your workers.
1. Lift Heavy Boxes With Care
Many people get injured every winter when they try to remove snow from their driveways. This is because they use a poor technique when shoveling snow away from walkways and driveways. As a result, they end up with sprained backs that can cause a lot of pain and discomfort.
The same situation applies to the workplace. Lifting heavy boxes without proper technique can be dangerous. First of all, try to use adequate equipment to lift heavy items. If boxes need to be moved manually, get help from one or two colleagues to prevent injuries.
Spend time to explain to your workers how heavy objects need to be lifted. For example, you need to keep your core tight and avoid arching your lower back when lifting a heavy box. An experienced fitness instructor can be hired to teach your employees the correct technique when it comes to lifting heavy boxes.
2. Avoid Distractions, Especially When Operating Heavy Machinery
Any distraction can cause an error that might result in an injury or thousands of dollars worth of damage. This is especially true for workers operating heavy machinery such as small cranes or forklifts.
It’s paramount to avoid distractions in the workplace. Talk to your employees and make sure they understand the consequences of being distracted at work. For example, they shouldn’t listen to music, play mobile games, or talk on the phone when working.
3. Make Sure That Your Offices Are Ergonomically Configured
Spending 8 hours in an office might cause health problems in some cases. This usually happens when the computer and desk setup is not properly configured. For example, if your neck hurts after a few hours of computer work, the office is not correctly configured.
Similarly, does one of your employees complain of wrist pains after using the computer mouse? If the answer is yes, the arm probably doesn’t rest properly on the desk. This might be because the seat is too high or the employee sits at an odd angle while working.
Spend some time to ensure that each office space is ergonomically configured. Remember that every employee has a different height, so arranging the computer setup to fit personal requirements is highly recommended.
4. Keep Walkways Clear of Cords and Cables
Tripping accidents can cause the most injuries in the workplace. These must be avoided at all costs. Make sure that your walkways are clear of cords and cables, so no one can trip on them. Hiding the cords under carpets is not an option either because this poses an electrical hazard.
The best thing to do is to invest in wire concealment and wire arranging products. You can buy special boxes and tools that keep wires neatly arranged in your office. If the wires need to travel across the room, have them installed on the lower side of the wall. This will prevent any tripping accidents and protects your workers.
5. Do Not Block Emergency Exits
Emergency exits are there to allow people to safely get out of the building and save their lives. If an emergency exit is blocked, they become pretty much useless. Make sure that your employees understand this and know where emergency exits are located.
At the same time, make sure that these exits are not blocked in any way. Keep obstacles such as chairs, tables, boxes, or other objects away from them. Display maps on walls instructing your employees how to get to these emergency exits the quickest way possible.
6. Avoid Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents can be as dangerous as tripping accidents. It’s paramount to avoid them at all costs. You can do that by managing spills and leaks correctly. For example, if you have spilled liquids on the floor, wipe them out as soon as possible.
If there’s a leak from a pipe in your building, make sure that you enclose that area. Put warning signs around and instruct your employees to avoid that place as much as possible. These basic safety measures will help you minimize slip and fall accidents in your establishment.
7. Ensure That Your Employees Take Sufficient Breaks
Breaks might lower productivity at work, but in some cases, they are necessary. Especially if you have a lot of employees who work in IT or operate heavy machinery, ensure that they take regular breaks. A break can be as small as 5 minutes, but it can help your workers minimize their stress levels.
Ideally, a break of about 5 minutes should be given after each hour of uninterrupted work. In this short break, your employees can get up, do a little bit of stretching, and busy themselves with something else.
Taking the right breaks at the right time can actually increase productivity in the long run. That’s because they prevent workers from getting fatigued. Excessive fatigue can lead to mistakes that cost time to fix. By taking regular breaks, some of these mistakes won’t happen in the first place.
Workplace Safety Should Always Be Your Top Priority
It’s almost impossible to prevent incidents at work, but by implementing a few workplace safety tips such as the ones mentioned above, you’ll make sure that these events will be minor.
Minimizing work-related accidents will protect your employees and decrease absenteeism due to illness or injury. It’s a win-win situation for everyone and an ongoing process that should take place in every company.
To learn more about workplace safety, make sure that you contact us today.