Each year, workplace-related fatalities and injuries cost billions of dollars. Any company aiming to cut costs must be proactive in looking after its people, and it also has a duty to care for workers, which means staff safety first.
But with so many workplace injuries every year, are companies really doing their best? To understand what they can do to improve their safety record, we need to understand the most common causes of workplace injuries and what we can do to decrease the risks for the workers.
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TRIPS AND FALLS
If employees wear footwear which is not suitable, rush to work or the floors are slippery, they may trip and fall. However, this can often be easily avoided. A mat can be placed near the door for employees to wipe their muddy and wet feet. Also, it would be helpful to have plenty of signs that employees can use to let others know there is water on some floors.
Employees who suffer from fatigue may be at increased risk of work-related injuries. This problem can occur with high-demand jobs, long shifts, and general fatigue due to reasons outside the work environment. It is also difficult to determine if an employee is fatigued.
It may not look from the physical appearance of the workers, and the workers may not want to admit that they are tired. It is important for workers to tell their supervisors that they are tired and ask for help from their colleagues. Not only does this help keep employees safe, but it also reduces the risk of endangering the workers.
There are many dangerous moving objects on construction sites, in warehouses, and in other hazardous environments which can potentially cause workplace injuries. For example, a forklift is a common piece of equipment and it is not always easy for the operator to see the space around it. Cranes can also move heavy objects such as wood and metal girders, so the workers should be careful when doing this job.
It is recommended that all employees should wear high-visibility clothing so their colleagues know exactly where they are at all times. Employees should know that they should not enter a vulnerable working environment without wearing safety equipment. It’s also helpful to have spare supplies that employees can borrow in case they forget or damage their high-visibility vest, pants, or shirt.
Using improper lifting techniques is one of the most common causes of workplace injuries. When shifting heavy objects, workers are at risk of experiencing strain on the back or tweak muscles. These accidents can lead to minor problems that are quickly resolved or serious, life-changing injuries. All employees should complete a certification course that teaches proper lifting techniques.
Employers should also encourage employees to work as a team and use hoists when possible while moving objects.
POOR LIGHT CONDITIONS
When considering how to protect your employees, it is important to consider lighting conditions. Working outdoors in the dark can cause injuries, so employees should wear flashlights and light-coloured clothing so others can see they are there. However, if you’re working indoors, lighting conditions can sometimes be unsatisfactory.
Employers should ensure that all aisles and rooms are well-lit and that employees can easily report areas that need more lighting.
MESSY WORKPLACE ENVIRONMENT
One of the most important aspects of ensuring employee safety is to give them a clean working space. They are more prone to damage themselves if they move objects to do their work. If there are heavy items on top of shelves that may fall and harm a passerby, this can be a major issue.
To make sure the cleaning crew doesn’t miss any locations, the crew must be provided with a checklist. A manager can also keep an eye on the workplace throughout the day to see if anything needs immediate care. Employees will be grateful that their employer is doing everything it can to ensure their well-being and provide them with a good place to work.
LACK OF NECESSARY EQUIPMENT
When employees don’t have the right tools for the job, they can be tempted to cut corners and put themselves in risky situations. Having the right equipment for each task is important to ensure good safety practices in the workplace. You can also assign a member of your team to check the tools at the end of the shift.