There are at least two million workers who are injured on the job. In a lot of these cases, the injuries are so severe that the workers can’t return to work and need consistent medical care. While there are reports stating that the number of workplace accidents has gone down in the past few years, there’s still so much that should be done to increase awareness of workplace safety, particularly when chemicals are involved.
It’s the employer or manager’s job to help protect workers from accidents. But each worker is also responsible for maintaining safety in the workplace. Here are best practices to avoid accidents and protect employees.
Don’t Take Shortcuts With Safety
Deadlines are important and companies want to get projects finished on time. However, this doesn’t mean you should take shortcuts with your employees’ safety. Make sure that everyone follows protocol, works diligently and with awareness of their surroundings. Safety protocols should be clear to everyone. Any questions regarding procedures should be clarified first before work can begin.
Treat Your PPE Like a VIP
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is critical in preventing workplace accidents. Everyone should wear it and wear it properly. Employees should have the following:
- Ear plugs or ear muffs to prevent hearing damage in noisy work areas.
- Durable gloves that can withstand extreme temperatures and prevent burns, chemical absorption, cuts, punctures, and scrapes.
- Goggles and face protection to safeguard against caustic liquids, chemicals, and flying particles.
- Hard hats to protect the head against falling objects.
- Safety shoes for workplaces where it’s possible that heavy objects might be dropped on the feet.
Aside from providing the necessary protective equipment, employers should make sure that their staff knows how to use them. Regular PPE and work safety training should be conducted.
Be Mindful of Substances that Can Lead to Disasters
A lot of workers assume that electrical equipment is the only source of fire and accidents. However, frictional heat, cigarettes, and even simple static can cause a chemical reaction and start a destructive fire. Employees should be mindful of how and where metalworking machinery is used in order to prevent accidents.
Good Housekeeping is a Must
Many companies underestimate the importance of having a clean and organized workspace. Having an unkempt work environment, where clutter, debris, paper, and spills are normal or accepted, can be detrimental to employee safety.
Everyone should ensure that work areas are kept clean. This means keeping things organized, fixing slip-and-trip dangers as soon as they’re noticed, clearing waste, and regularly removing fire hazards. Work areas should always be evaluated with a critical eye. Careful attention should be paid to the layout to ensure a seamless workflow. There should be enough storage areas and maintenance should be conducted regularly. Any dangers or deficiencies should be reported immediately and resolved.
The aforementioned practices can be the backbone of your company’s accident prevention program. Remember that it’s your job as an employer to make your workers feel safe and to provide them with the equipment and training to ensure they’re protected.