As much as we try to avoid them, accidents happen. This is why it is important to make sure your company has an effective workplace safety policy. However, that policy goes out of the window if you fail to follow all the procedures outlined within.
To help ensure your company doesn’t suffer from easily avoidable accidents, we have put together a list of all the common workplace safety mistakes, as well as simple ways to avoid them. The accident causes are easy to miss but preventing the accidents are even easier.
1. Not Monitoring For Slip or Trip Hazards in Your Workplace
When it comes to creating a safe work environment for both you and your employees, you want to make sure you are constantly on the lookout for any potential dangers that could result in injury. Check your floors and walkways daily. People have a tendency to leave things in the way or spill without cleaning up.
If you work in a restaurant, it is smart to have a routine floor cleaning process that takes place every few hours.
2. Absentmindedly Stepping Over Potential Slip-Trip-Fall Hazards Without Fixing the Problem
It’s human nature to get complacent and step over problems. However, complacency puts humans in the danger zone. Pretend you’ve never seen the area before and imagine what could happen.
If you see a potential problem, fix it right then and there. Don’t wait or hope someone else sees the problem and takes action. You need to be proactive to promote a positive workplace safety policy.
3. Failing to Examine Employees Shoes to Ensure They Are In Good Working Condition
Shoes are the most overlooked aspect of slip-trip-fall prevention. For instance, a restaurant owner who keeps the floors clean but fails to find that his employees’ shoes are slick and worn out has only done half the job.
4. Not Evaluating Whether Employees Should Carry Certain Objects By Hand or With Proper Material Handling Equipment
Planning is the most important aspect of lifting and moving loads. Organizing the use of material handling equipment can save backs, knees, and shoulders.
In addition, sometimes the use of material handling equipment, such as dollies or forklifts can also cut down on the amount of time it takes your employees to finish the task. Meaning, not only will it increase the effectiveness workplace safety policy, it will also cut down on your labor cost and free up your employees to work on other jobs sooner.
5. Not Encouraging Employees to Break Large Heavy Loads Into Several Smaller Loads For Easier Handling
Making two trips is better than carrying too much and hurting yourself. For instance, a pool cleaning company eliminated their back injury problem by switching from 50-pound bags of salt to 25-pound bags.
Pool techs were required to make two trips rather than carry a 50-pound bag from truck to the pool pump. In turn, this helped them avoid a risk of injury to their body, as well as helped them preserve their energy to continue working throughout their shift.
6. Not Properly Training Your Employees on How to Lift Heavy Objects
People aren’t robots. You have to train them and re-train them in proper lifting techniques. And then train them again.
You should also stress to your employees the importance of this as good lifting will save their knees and backs from potential long-term injury in the future.
7. Never Truly Evaluating Workers’ Driving Ability
This goes well beyond simply checking their motor vehicle record once a year. Are you really going to put that worker in your expensive truck without testing their driving ability?
We recommend ride-along testing. This will give you a chance to witness firsthand your employee’s driving skill.
8. Not Checking Your Work Vehicle (or Fleet) to Ensure It Is In Good Working Condition
All vehicles should be inspected daily before use. Vehicles that are not in working order should be repaired before put into use or taken out of service.
Similar as you would with your personal vehicle, you want to stay up-to-date on all routine maintenance of your work vehicles, including changing the oil, rotating the tires, checking the fluid levels, and so on. The last thing you want is for your employee to be left stranded out in the field because their car or truck failed, or worse, end up causing an accident because of an avoidable failure.
9. Not Creating and Upholding a Driving Attention Policy
Business owners can create and enforce safety rules that protect their employees. Do you allow employees to text and talk on the cell phone while driving on your behalf? Worse yet, do you promote that behavior and encourage your employees to not pay attention to the road while driving?
You should stress to your employees the importance of paying attention to the road while driving, including putting away their cell phones. As an employer, if you know your employee is driving try to wait until he or she gets back to the office or at least when you know they are no longer behind the wheel.
Don’t worry if you’ve made several of these workplace safety policy mistakes because most people do. These are the little details that can reach out and really damage your business. That said, you now know what to look for and can make an impact.