5 Workplace Safety Mistakes You Should Avoid At All Costs

5 Workplace Safety Mistakes You Should Avoid At All Costs

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compels employers to ensure that their employees’ working environment and conditions are safe and free of any apparent dangers. Workplace safety inevitably requires strict training and inspections in order to be effective, as well as complete adherence to all the regulations and rules that are set in place. Most workplace accidents and ailments are able to be prevented by following strict protocols and safety plans.

Employers should never ignore their staff taking shortcuts that compromise the health and safety of their day-to-day operations. Cutting corners and ignoring health and safety regulations could lead to hazardous and inevitably life-threatening situations that could negatively affect you and your employees. Below we have highlighted 5 workplace safety mistakes that should be avoided at all costs.

1. Ignoring PPE rules

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should be worn throughout the entirety of any tasks that require it. Uncomfortable temperatures or overly-nonchalant attitudes should not excuse employees from wearing their PPE at the appropriate times. Conducting periodic PPE assessments allows you to comprehend the PPE that is necessary for your workers and working environment. It is your responsibility as an employer to ensure that your employees are provided with well-fitting PPE that protects them during their day-to-day duties.

2. Using incorrect tools

Using an incorrect (or makeshift) tool for a job is inevitably hazardous and inefficient. Even if a tool is similar to the appropriate one, it is still not advised to use it. Tools are built for specific applications; forcing tools to do things that they are not designed for is inherently dangerous. Employers should always provide their workers with the appropriate tools to carry out their duties.

3. Skipping routine machine inspections

You should always conduct routine machine inspections, even if a machine seems to be working as it should. Machine breakdowns and maintenance procedures can crop up when you least expect them, so be sure to stick to your scheduled machine inspections. Have certified professionals conduct thorough machine inspections that can alert you to any subtle hazards or problems. Though this may take up your time, having an expected machine breakdown in the middle of a busy day can be catastrophic and dangerous.

4. Refusing to review annual safety guidelines

Your business inevitably changes and evolves over time, and your safety guidelines should evolve too. Reassess your safety guidelines every year and be sure to educate your employees about them regularly. You should ideally train your employees with regards to workplace safety regulations on a regular basis, especially if you make changes and modifications to your facilities or processes. The latest version of your health and safety guidelines should always be available for your workers to peruse.

5. Using ladders instead of scaffolding (and vice versa)

Scaffolds and ladders are not interchangeable; they have their own specific purposes. Swapping either of these pieces of equipment for the other can lead to serious injuries and fatalities. There were over 800 fatalities as a result of falls in 2015; it is of the utmost importance that employees working in elevated areas are provided with robust and appropriate equipment for ascending and descending heights.

Always remain organized and proactive when it comes to workplace safety; an accident will occur when you least expect it. When an accident does happen, following the appropriate health and safety guidelines will allow you to rest assured that your employees are as safe as they can possibly be. It also covers your back in the event of legal proceedings and insurance claims.

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Top 10 Workplace Safety Guidelines

Top 10 Workplace Safety Guidelines

A safe workplace is a function of how the management and workers of an establishment adhere to and communicate safety standards. Workplace safety is not all about policies and practice guidelines alone.

Strong workplace safety is built around encouraging employees to identify unsafe behaviors and recognize opportunities for improvement. This will help them make well-informed safety decision while discharging their duties.

Below are Top 10 Workplace Safety Guidelines Each Employee Must Know to help you create a safe working environment centered on shared responsibility:

  1. Be Aware of your surroundings: this simply means being aware of the particular hazards associated with your workplace or job. After learning these risks, you will be able to avoid potentially hazardous areas and situations, as well as machinery.
  2. Keep correct posture to protect your back: if you do your job at a desk, ensure to align your shoulders with your hips to avoid backaches. When picking objects up, always bend appropriately so that you don’t hurt your back. Try as much as possible to avoid stooping and twisting. Using safety equipment and ergonomic designed furniture will also ensure that everything you need is within reach so that you don’t have to strain your back when you want to get them.
  3. Go on regular breaks: a majority of injuries and illnesses that occur in the workplace are because a worker is tired and burned out, making him not to be alert to his environment. Going on regular breaks helps a worker stay afresh on the job. A great tip for keeping alert is to schedule the most onerous tasks when your concentration is at its best; after you wake up in the morning.
  4. Use machines and tools properly: always follow proper instructions when using a particular device, avoid taking shortcuts as this is a leading cause of workplace injury. For example, using scaffolding as a ladder, or using a tool in place of another for a particular job is a huge risk. When you use the right tools the right way, you have significantly reduced the chances of workplace injury.
  5. All emergency exits must be easily accessible: you will need to reach the doors quickly and easily in case of an emergency. Also, all roads or entrances leading to equipment must be clear in case you will need to stop them from running during an emergency.
  6. Let your supervisor know about unsafe conditions: did you notice any safety hazards or risks in your workplace? Report them immediately to your supervisor. Legally, they are obligated to make a working environment safe for their employees. So they will take care of any reported unsafe condition to ensure you and your co-workers have a safe working environment.
  7. Use mechanical aids whenever possible: rather than trying to carry or lift a heavy item to save time during your workday, you could take extra time to use a wheelbarrow, crank or forklift, or conveyor belt. A lot of injury risks are associated with lifting heavy objects.
  8. Be sober: Many workplace injuries occur as a result of drugs and alcohol. Drug usage or alcohol consumption can compromise a worker’s ability to exercise judgment, coordination, alertness or concentration, motor control, and could expose him to different workplace injuries and fatalities.
  9. Minimize workplace stress: endeavor to keep workplace stress at it bearest minimum because it can result in lack of concentration or depression. Some examples of the common causes of workplace stress are a heavy workload, long hours, job insecurity, and conflicts with co-workers or managers. Discuss your workplace stress concerns with your supervisor and see if they can help you address them.
  10. Wear the correct personal protective equipment (PPE): a great way to reduce workplace injury is by wearing the proper safety equipment; lack of these may get you injured. Equipment such as earplugs, earmuffs, safety goggles, hard hats, gloves, or a full-face mask is recommended for specific jobs and can help reduce the risk of workplace injury associated with such jobs.

The business owner and facility manager must educate their employees on workplace safety efforts and encourage the workers to be active players in the process. By encouraging your employees to think and practice safety, you’ll control costs with reduced injuries. You’ll also reduce insurance costs.

And if you need to review your risk profile and get advice on managing risk costs, contact us anytime!