Safety in the workplace may sound simple, but the most recent reports from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) tell us otherwise. In 2013, an average of more than 12 workers per day died on the job, with 20.3% of the deaths related to the construction industry. Statistics show that a majority of these fatal numbers were due to falls, being struck by objects, electrocutions, and being stuck in between two surfaces. Removing the fatalities from the fatal four meant saving around 468 workers’ lives per year, making it essential to improve the safety in every workplace and ensure that each worker is properly trained on the rules and regulations on health and safety at work.
Below are some easy to apply safety tips for the workplace.
1. A fire plan should be developed and implemented covering the entire work area. Employers should ensure that workers understand the procedure fully by having fire drills every now and then that could point out exits and meeting spots in case a fire breaks out.
2. Know where all fire extinguishers are situated throughout the complex, and learn how to use them.
3. Chemicals such as those used for cleaning can emit highly-flammable vapors that may be set off with something as seemingly unnoticeable as a small spark from a faulty wire. Keep these chemicals in a well-ventilated room to avoid fires from breaking out.
4. Avoid using power strips as these tend to be over-used. Having too many appliances plugged into them may cause a fire to break out.
Slips and Falls
1. The most practical way of preventing injuries that come from slips and falls is to be mindful of every step taken.
2. When working on slippery surfaces, use non-skid shoes to avoid slipping.
3. Spills should be reported to the cleaning staff so they can be cleaned promptly before anyone else falls victim to them.
4. When working at heights, never disregard the safety harness. Have them securely tied to prevent falling.
5. Shelves or storage units should be used in place of ladders in order to retrieve something from a high place. Only approved ladders should be utilized in order to reach high spaces.
6. Avoid leaning on railings, even when they look and feel stable. They may not be properly secured, and could cause the person leaning on them to fall.
1. Stay safe by wearing non-skid shoes when heavy lifting is a normal occurrence at work.
2. Use proper body mechanics when lifting objects – do not bend at the waist as this puts strain on the back when lifting.
3. If the contents of a box that needs lifting are unknown, use a foot to try to move it to gauge just how heavy it is.
4. Avoid body jerking when lifting heavy objects as this may cause injury in the long run.
1. Learn about asbestos and know which products usually contain them and where they’re normally located. By doing so, necessary precautions can be undertaken in order to avoid being exposed to the material. Follow proper abatement to ensure that exposure to the substance does not happen. Get the proper safety trainings and certifications necessary.
2. If the working environment has a constant threat of exposure to asbestos, it is best to wear a mask as well as safety equipment at all times. A self-contained breathing apparatus should typically be worn when working for a company that deals with asbestos.
3. Wash clothes that have been exposed to the substance separately – preferably in a special washing facility at work.
4. Asbestos fiber can cling to skin and hair; thus, it is important to take a shower after work in order to remove these substances from the body. The OSHA requires companies that come in contact with asbestos to have rinsing and showering facilities onsite for employees to wash their clothes and shower before heading home in order to avoid contaminating their houses.
While these are just some of the ways to ensure safety in the workplace, following these simple tips can help prevent loss of life due to any of the four common causes of fatalities on the job. Regardless of the industry, applying safety tips such as the ones given above can help workers in avoiding accidents and unnecessary hazards.
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