Safety in the workplace is important. “Oh, I know,” you say. “Of course, it is.”
No, really. Workplace safety is vital in any work setting.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2.8 million non-fatal work injuries or illnesses occurred in 2018. (The most recent data has yet to be released.) There were also 5,250 work-related fatalities. The total cost of work-related injuries was 170.8 billion dollars.
That’s a lot of hurt people and a lot of money!
Prioritizing safety in the workplace lets your employees know you care about them, maximizes productivity, and saves you potential bucket-loads of heartache and headaches.
Here are four “P’s” to get you started on safety in your workplace.
Prevent slipping, tripping, and falls by:
- Clearing spills and debris immediately.
- Clearly identifying wet surfaces.
- Closing cabinet drawers and pushing in chairs.
- Covering or taping down cables and cords.
- Keep walkways well lit.
- Securing carpets and rugs.
Encourage employees to wear proper footwear and to PAY ATTENTION to where they are going!
Protect against overexertion by encouraging employees to:
- Stretch often-used muscles…often.
- Change from any continuous position every 20-30 minutes.
- Use ergonomically-sound lifting techniques.
- Use the proper tools designed for heavy lifting.
- Alternate tasks that require vibrating tools.
- Know their physical, emotional, and mental limits.
Keep in mind – overexertion and muscle strain are among the top reasons for work-related injuries.
Provide personal protective equipment:
- Helmets and hard hats — for protection against falling objects, collisions into fixed objects, and electrical hazards.
- Work gloves — for protection against extreme cold, burns, heavy vibrations, chemicals, and abrasions.
- Safety glasses/goggles and face shields — for protection against hazardous liquids, lasers, and flying sparks.
- Earplugs or noise-canceling defenders — to protect against hearing loss or damage in environments with noise levels above 85 decibels.
- And In the age of COVID-19, PPE includes face masks.
As an employer, it is your responsibility to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for your employees. Ensure that it fits correctly, is worn appropriately, and is kept in good condition.
Prepare your employees:
- Provide adequate training.
- Post posters on safety procedures in highly visible areas.
- Establish safety guidelines in attire – leave jewelry at home, tuck in shirttails, and pull hair back to protect them from getting caught in machinery.
- Encourage healthy respect for all power tools and machinery.
- Create an environment where your employees feel safe reporting an injury
Safety in the workplace begins with the mindset that it isn’t just about compliance, but about the protection and well-being of all.
At Hamilton Connections, we believe in workplace safety and the power of putting the right people with the right people. We call ourselves Placement Professionals, and we want to be your preferred New England staffing agency. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us — we can’t wait to help you!