10 Essential Workplace Safety Tips
People come to work in order to earn a living and contribute based on their skills. Unfortunately, they don’t always make it home safely.
Over 5,000 Americans were killed at work in 2016. The most dangerous industry is construction, where falls alone account for 38% of deaths.
How can you keep your employees safe? Read on for some important workplace safety tips.
Reduce Stress and Fatigue
This may not be what you expect from a list of workplace safety tips, but it’s probably the most vital step you can take. Workers who are stressed or overtired will forget safety standards, make mistakes, and take bigger risks than needed.
If you can reduce stress and fatigue on your job site, you can dramatically improve safety. Make sure workers take proper breaks and don’t have to work excessively long shifts.
Encourage Awareness of Surroundings
Employees need to know where machinery and other workers are at all times. That way they can avoid potential hazards and not hurt each other.
It may be helpful to set up “safe zones” on the job site or work floor where employees can walk without fear of being hit by machinery. When everyone adheres to these standards, you can expect injuries to drop.
Management also needs to be aware of safety concerns on the worksite. Make sure you do a fire risk assessment and take other steps so you know the issues that may occur in your workplace.
Post Workplace Safety Tips Prominently
Knowing what to do in an emergency can save someone’s life. Make sure that workplace safety tips are easy to find. Also, doing emergency response drills can help your employees know how to stay safe and help each other in a dangerous situation.
Depending on your workplace, it may be important to post signs with the following information:
- What to do after a chemical spill
- Steps to take if someone falls or is injured
- The location of first aid kits
- Emergency exit locations
Make it Easy to Report Safety Problems
One of the most difficult problems with workplace safety is that folks in charge don’t know about hazards. Sometimes workers are afraid of getting in trouble. Other times they aren’t sure who to talk to.
Make it easy and safe to report violations to management. By having a positive environment, you can help ensure that no one feels afraid to let you know about safety concerns.
Keep Your Workspace Organized
Clutter can be a major concern when it comes to falls. If equipment is not put away after use, or warehouses are messy, you have a safety problem waiting to happen.
Make sure everything in the work area has a proper place to be stored, and encourage employees to put things away when they are finished. You can even make it fun by having a five minute “pick up” race every couple of hours.
The person who puts the most away gets an extra 5 minutes on their break!
Enforce the Wearing of Protective Equipment
Ensuring that your workers all wear the protective gear they are given can be difficult. Ease the situation by explaining “what’s in it for them.”
You might share stories of unfortunate incidents that you want to prevent. Or, let them know that you want everyone home safe for their loved ones each night.
When you phrase workplace safety tips in a way that benefit the workers, they will be much more likely to follow the rules.
Provide Aids for Lifting and Hauling
Back, neck, and limb injuries can be serious. You can lose a key employee not just for days, but for months. In fact, they may never be able to return to work.
Do your part to protect your staff by providing the equipment they need. There should be enough forklifts, handcarts, and lift tables for everyone to do their job without waiting unnecessarily.
When the equipment is available, workers are able to do their jobs more safely and effectively.
Sometimes a tenured employee believes they have found a better way to execute their work. If they really have, listen to their suggestions and improve your processes!
However, many times these shortcuts involve ignoring safety procedures or not using proper protection. Worse, you may see long-time employees teaching these unsafe methods to newer workers.
Make sure your staff understands the “why” behind your key processes. They need to know what the safety steps do, and what can happen if they don’t follow them.
Enlist tenured employees to help encourage proper processes on the floor when you aren’t around, as well.
Have Safety Cameras
No one wants to feel like “big brother is watching,” but having safety cameras in key areas is vital. You can use the footage for coaching, and if an incident does occur having a record is invaluable.
Cameras can also notify you if the equipment is malfunctioning before it becomes a major hazard. You can note when areas are cluttered or if proper procedures are not being followed.
The key to safety cameras and all other monitoring is to position yourself on the same team as your workers. Don’t make it feel like they are being scolded or are collecting demerits. Instead, encourage them and maintain a positive environment.
Create a Culture of Safety
All the workplace safety tips in the world cannot prevent accidents if your staff does not follow them. It’s essential to have your workers buy-in to the process.
You may want to use this service as a basis for your workplace safety training, and then continue to enforce it every day on the job.
Positive reinforcement is one of the best tools you can use at work. Create incentives for safety, but be careful not to discourage the reporting of incidents. Help everyone understand that safety isn’t about rules, it’s about living a long, healthy life.
Keep Your Workplace Safe!
No one wants accidents to happen. When you put these ten workplace safety tips in place, you’re going a long way toward ensuring the safety of your staff.
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