By | Tracie Johnson | Freelance Writer
No one expects to get injured when they wake up and go to work. But the reality on the ground is different. Millions of work-related injuries are reported every year across the country. This tells you that almost every employee is at risk of getting injured at their places of work.
While it is impossible to completely make a workplace safe from any form of physical injury, certain measures and practices can be taken to minimize the risks. Both employers and employees have to adhere to these measures to promote safety in their respective places of work.
1. Keep Workplaces Clean
Cleanliness alone can play a big role when it comes to preventing workplace injuries. Some injuries like trips, slips, lacerations, falls, strains and sprains can be minimized by keeping places of work clean and organized.
Employees should always ensure that their areas of work are clean before starting or leaving their shifts. This will ensure that those who will be coming in later find the place clean and safe for work.
2. Always put on Proper PPE for the Job
Improper use of personal protective equipment or lack of it can lead to serious workplace injuries. PPE is the last line of defense as far as protecting employees from the hazard at work is concerned. An injury will be more severe if you come into contact with a hazard without wearing any form of PPE.
Putting on a hard hut may be unpleasant or even uncomfortable but it protects your head against falling objects that can cause serious injuries. It is important to know which type of PPE is needed for the job and how to wear it correctly. Always crosscheck PPE before using it to ensure everything is perfect.
3. Use the Right Tools for the Job
This is a very important workplace safety practice. Although using some tools may not cause injury, it is likely to damage the tool itself. It is important to use the right tools to perform different tasks. It is better to ask your supervisor for anyone knowledgeable rather than using the wrong tool to perform a task. It may seem convenient but the consequences can be dire.
4. Never Work on Live Equipment
Energy sources such as hydraulic, electrical, pneumatic, thermal, chemical and other sources in equipment and machines can be dangerous to workers. When conducting repairs and routine maintenance on machines and equipment, unexpected release or startup of stored energy can lead to serious injuries or even death of employees.
That’s why it is important to understand and adhere to proper Tagout/Lockout procedures. Lockout means placing a lock on a device that prevents it from releasing energy. Tagout refers to placing a tag on a switch or any other device that gives a warning not to start the equipment.
5. Ensure Chemicals Are Well Stored and Labeled
OSHA gives many citations concerning hazard communication annually. Keeping chemical storage records is important because it prevents workers from mistakenly causing a chemical hazard by mixing incompatible hazards. Improper storage and labeling can result in property loss or physical injuries.
Storing incompatible chemicals together may lead to the generation of heat, gasses, and fumes that can cause an explosion. This is the reason why Safety Data Sheets exist. All workers should understand SDS, where they are situated, and how to use them.
6. Communicate Safety Hazards
Safety hazards refer to unsafe working conditions that may lead to injury, illness, or even death. They are often classified as physical, biological, chemical ergonomic, or work organizational hazards. You should not assume that everyone is aware of the hazard at a workplace. For example, people should be notified about existing asbestos job sites. This will make them cautious whenever they visit such places.
7. Promote Safety Awareness and Education
Experts recommend regular training and education about safety at work. Employees should be trained on various aspects of Workplace safety. Every employee needs to understand inherent risks at their workplaces and how they can result in injuries.
Remembering and adhering to the above-mentioned workplace safety practices can go a long way in preventing injury at work. Preventing accidents is better than treating injuries caused by carelessness at places of work.