Despite the best efforts of most employers, millions of workers are injured on the job each year. Many of these on-the-job accidents are caused by human error and could be avoided. Here are some simple tips for preventing workplace injuries.
Communication is key. Ensure that safety procedures are clearly communicated to all employees, and encourage employees to warn their co-workers and supervisors about potentially hazardous situations. Routine safety trainings should be mandatory for all new employees and regularly reviewed by all employees. Important guidelines such as lock-out procedures for heavy machinery, chemical handling procedures, the proper safety equipment necessary for each job, and disaster procedures should be prominently displayed in the applicable work areas.
Keep the work place clean inside and out. Whether you work in an office or on the shop floor, keeping your environment clean is important for preventing workplace injuries. Spills should be promptly cleaned. Electrical cords, boxes and other potential hazards need to be cleared from walkways and stored appropriately. Ice, snow, and other debris ought to be removed from parking lots and sidewalks around the perimeter of the facility.
In both the warehouse and file room, avoid stacking or storing heavy items on high shelves. Items stored up high have the potential of falling on people who are trying to retrieve them. Avoid stacking heavy or unstable items that may easily topple over. Avoid overfilling top drawers of file cabinets; top-heavy cabinets may fall over when an upper drawer is pulled out.
Create a workspace that follows ergonomic principles to avoid long term injury through harmful repetitive movements. Certain positions and movements can cause injury over time due to strain.
Cultivate a culture that emphasizes the importance of safety. Emphasize that ignoring safety procedures does not save time or money; ultimately, it increases risk of injury and can cause a decrease in productivity.
Safety is the responsibility of every employee. Do your part in preventing workplace injuries and be aware of hazardous situations on the job.