This list could help save the day, and perhaps even a life. Here are 10 things to help keep the workplace safe and accident free.
1. Make a list, check it twice
Checklists have been shown as one of the most effective ways to avoid simple mistakes that lead to accidents. Create and post checklists for the proper procedures in your workplace regarding personal safety, general safety, equipment safety, and chemical safety.
2. Clear the way
Slips, trips, and falls are among the most common workplace accidents. Never assume that a wet floor or piece of equipment blocking a walkway is obvious to others. Clean up spills immediately and use signage to warn others of a wet floor or obstructed path.
3. Dress the part
If a firefighter refused to wear his protective suit to fight a fire, we’d call that crazy. Protective clothing on the jobsite is no different. Goggles, hard hats, cut resistant gloves, reflective vests, steel-toed boots, and other PPE have saved both life and limb. Advances in technology, such as stronger, finer fibers, have made protective clothing more comfortable, breathable, better fitting and more effective.
4. Put a lid on it
A cup of coffee or a can of energy drink may be a necessity during your workday, but spilled drinks around electrical wiring can spark fires or cause electrocution. Keep drinks off the work site unless they are covered with a non-spill lid.
5. Back to basics
Use proper, deliberate lifting methods for one-person tasks, and use additional people or machinery to help for more-than-one-person tasks.
6. First things first
Who is responsible for inspecting the first aid kit? Does everyone know where to find it? Make sure every first aid kit is visible, accessible, stocked, and re-stocked regularly. Periodically review the contents at safety meetings so that everyone is aware of the supplies and their purposes. The timely use of a first aid kit can keep a minor injury from turning into a major one.
7. Clear the air
Before working with any machinery or chemical substance, be sure there is proper ventilation to keep the air around you clear and moving. This is particularly important as seasons and temperatures change, since ventilation may be adjusted without everyone knowing.
8. Be alarmed
Keep smoke detectors and fire alarms in working condition with fresh batteries. Schedule regular replacement of all batteries every six months.
9. Protect your assets
Each day at the end of the workday, properly inspect, clean, stow, store, and contain machinery, chemicals, and equipment before leaving the job site to avoid accidents that can happen with no one around.
10. Never stop learning
Make safety education and prevention a priority with regular meetings and updates for all employees. Be aware of new technologies and procedures that can improve performance and safety, and share the information. Keep up on current training and licensing requirements for each employee.