No matter what industry you work in, you face a variety of safety hazards every day. Having the ability to identify these situations and know what workplace safety tips to follow to protect yourself.
1. Falling Is The #1 Workplace Safety Hazard
According to OSHA, falls account for the greatest percentage of workplace injuries. Whether you are on a flight of stairs, a step stool, a stepladder, or a lift device, the risk of falling is always there. A fall can occur from stairs, step stools, step ladders, or ladders used in all industries not to mention scaffolding and lift devices found on construction sites. The farther off the ground an employee rises, the greater the potential for death. Any height off the ground is unsafe.
Although never 100 percent preventable, the good news is there are ways you can reduce falling hazards among your staff by following a few simple workplace safety tips:
- Look for these problems before they become falls
- Check your equipment
- Find another way to get the job done that reduces the risk of falling
2. Car Accidents Account For 38% of Workplace Fatalities
Have you ever sent an employee out on an errand? Does any of your employees travel for work?
Any time an employee drives for your company in any capacity, you magnify the potential that they will be injured in a car accident. If you have a fleet of drivers, the probability of an accident rises dramatically.
To help reduce your risk of car accidents, we suggest you examine who you allow to drive your company’s cars. Who is driving? What vehicle? When was the vehicle last serviced? What time and place are they on the road? Have you observed your drivers on the road? What are they doing?
Taking the time to answer these questions can greatly reduce your chance of risks. If you have a fleet – conduct defensive driving classes for your drivers.
3. The Result of Electrocution is Shocking
We all are exposed to electrical power – computers, coffee makers, hand tools are just a few on a huge daily list of electrical exposures. With this exposure comes a lot of risk. A household current of 110 volts is enough to cause a fatal injury. A current of 50 mill amperes is enough to cause cardiac arrest and possible death.
When it comes to electrocution, the basic workplace safety tip is to remember electricity is always trying to find ground. If you touch a live current with one hand and the other hand or a foot is on the ground, the electricity will travel into your body, through your heart, before reaching the ground. This is why it is important to teach your employees to be cautious when handling electrical equipment.
The good news is that you can easily reduce the risk of electrocution by following a few simple steps:
- Examine cords, cables, and outlets
- Replace all worn or faulty equipment or cords
- Look for overhead power lines before you begin your work
4. Crush Injuries Are Due to Lack of Awareness
A crushing injury is when you or an employee is caught between or under a heavy object. The possibility of a crushing injury, no matter what industry you are in, is countless. Examples include being caught between a forklift and a wall in a warehouse, stuck underneath a heavy shelf in a stockroom, trapped under a falling tree being trimmed in a residential yard, or being stuck underneath an overloaded filing cabinet in an office.
You can greatly reduce your risk of this by following a few simple workplace safety tips. For example, make sure your employees keep clear of operating equipment. You should also ensure storage materials and boxes are stacked without being able to tip. Consider using storage racks to better organize your company’s equipment.
5. Lack of Oxygen Environments Occur Without Warning
Also known as the silent killer, some work environments exist where the amount of oxygen in the air is below the level necessary to sustain life. This is generally a construction or manufacturing exposure. However, some offices with computer equipment rooms have sophisticated fire suppression systems that may reduce the amount of oxygen in the room.
This exposure is commonly known as a confined space exposure. Meaning it is an environment, with one way in and out, that either has the possibility of poor ventilation or there is the presence of another gas that could replace the oxygen level. We suggest you consult www.osha.gov for guidance in confined space entry and control for both construction and general entry. Follow these rules to the letter. The best workplace safety tip for a true confined space is- If in doubt, stay out.
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day rush and miss the opportunity to prevent an accident. Thinking about an employee fatality is never pleasant, but a few minutes of recognition and planning may make all the difference!