Have you ever been walking along while at work, minding your own business, probably looking down at your phone, or talking with a coworker? Sure, we’ve all done this. In fact, this is something you probably do every single day.
Well, the next thing you know, you’ve fallen flat on your back, stepped into a hole, or walked right into an immovable object. Believe it or not, this is one of the more common scenarios that cause injuries in the workplace.
Workplace safety has become a critical issue in many industries today. Though accidents do happen from time to time, many can be avoided if employees are given the appropriate training. But, while the employee is largely responsible for his or her own safety, it’s the employer who should ensure that all employees adhere to proper safety protocols.
Here, we’ll outline a few safety tips that you can follow to stay safe at the workplace.
Getting In and Out of Equipment
Many times some of the simplest injuries to avoid stem from climbing in and out of equipment improperly. But, sometimes this isn’t as avoidable as you might think.
Perhaps you need to rent a truck with a towing package from a truck rental company and it’s completely new to everyone. If this is the case, it’s your job as an employer to ensure that you and all of your employees know how to handle the new equipment and how to maneuver around it safely.
Common sense protocols to follow when getting in and out of equipment suggest that you should always have proper footing. This includes ensuring that your shoes or boots are free from any mud, grease, or anything else that might reduce friction.
Having a secure foot and handhold while climbing any structure is critical for safety. In fact, you should have three points of contact when climbing in or out of anything. This means that you need to securely use two hands and one foot at all times.
Improving Workplace Safety
Many times when accidents happen it’s because employees haven’t been properly trained when it comes to safety measures. And this can be as simple as having a safety class in the orientation phase of your hiring process.
Today, you can have a designated safety officer at your company conduct these employee training sessions on an ongoing basis, or hire a safety administrator from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to conduct these training sessions for you.
Ideally, you want to emphasize the importance of safety to your employees before they begin working. In addition, you want to develop a safety-conscious work culture as well. This is where the ongoing training comes in.
If you’re bringing in new equipment, or if you’re traveling to new job sites, ensure that you brief your employees on any and all possible hazards, and the appropriate measures they can use to protect themselves from injury. For example, when installing new fire doors, your staff should be told and shown where they are and what the protocol is for when they are to be used.
As your job and workload change and evolve, so too will the safety measures needed in order to work in a safe environment.
Probably one of the most overlooked cases which cause injury at the workplace is worker fatigue. This is common in the over-the-road (OTR) truck driving industry, especially when drivers forgo sleep and rest in order to get money for an extra load.
Fatigue can come in many forms at the workplace as well. Working long hours, or several days of consecutive 12-hour shifts will cause cognitive function and motor coordination to diminish significantly.
This not only results in poor work performance, but it can also ultimately result in injury or even be fatal.
As an employer, you’ll want to see that your employees get adequate rest to function properly while at work. Not only this, but you’ll also want to ensure that they’re well-versed in safety training and are wearing proper protective equipment.
Keeping yourself and your employees safe at all times will ensure that you’ll not only meet your work demands, but you’ll develop a safe work culture that will benefit everyone long-term.
Interesting Related Article: “The Importance of Construction Site Safety for Employers“