Workplace injuries are generally caused by three main things: employee behavior, improper training, or faulty equipment. Many times, workers act carelessly or don’t take proper precautions. At other times, malfunctioning equipment can threaten worker safety. To make the workplace safer, all employees must work together to raise awareness of dangers and take steps to actively prevent situations that can lead to injury.
Follow Your Training Manual
Too often, workers try to take shortcuts, or they have become so used to doing a task that they will skip certain steps. This can be a recipe for disaster. Not following the proper steps can endanger both workers and others, including customers. Training manuals are developed to guide workers in completing their work in a way that maximizes both efficiency and safety. Yet over time, employees may become complacent or forget details. It’s a good safety measure to hold meetings with workers to review the manual and discuss any problems or concerns with procedures.
Wear Protective Equipment
Workers placed in hazardous situations should always wear personal protective equipment, or PPE, such as safety glasses, gloves, masks, boots, and other wearable gear. Wearing PPE is especially important if you work around harmful dust, radiation, or chemicals. These threats often go unnoticed until they do serious harm. Workers need to be trained and reminded about the importance of consistently wearing PPE where required. But it’s also important that PPE fits well and is comfortable to wear. Workers are more likely to skip putting on the PPE if it interferes with their ability to easily do their work.
Hold Regular Inspections
Even if workers are well prepared and equipped to do their jobs, there may be hazards caused by faulty equipment. Oftentimes, you can’t tell whether the equipment is functioning properly until something goes wrong, and by then, it’s too late. Injuries ranging from minor cuts to serious burns and even death can be caused by malfunctioning equipment. All tools, machinery, and support or scaffolding should be regularly inspected for defects or wear and undergo preventative maintenance. While these inspections may cause temporary slowdowns or inconveniences, any time lost is more than made up for by reducing the chance of injuries.
Safety should be a priority for all companies. Training employees, providing the proper PPE, and making sure equipment is safe are primary steps in maintaining an injury-free workplace. If you want to avoid workplace injuries, make sure you take these precautions!
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