5 Workplace Safety Mistakes You Absolutely Can't Afford to Make
OSHA requires employers to provide employees with working conditions that are free of known dangers. This is the crux of workplace safety and Arbill's initiative to get every worker home safely after every shift.
Workplace injuries and illnesses are largely preventable, but workplace safety initiatives require both vigilance in safety training and inspections, along with strict adherence to all rules and regulations to be effective. That is why it's never okay to encourage or turn a blind eye to employees taking short cuts or getting lazy about using the proper tools or safety equipment to get the job done. Even if you think to yourself, "Well, just this once," you are putting your employees in a hazardous situation with the potential for any number of seriously undesirable outcomes for your employees and your business.
Below are examples of five workplace safety mistakes, built around scenarios you might encounter at your facility or job site.
1) Using the Incorrect Tool for the Job
Not using the correct tool for a job leads to danger, and inefficient work. You might think that a similar tool could work since it's almost the same thing, but this is the wrong approach and can lead to injury. Many tools are made specifically for certain applications and those jobs will be done incorrectly if the proper tool is not used. Take the extra time to have the proper tools on hand for the job. This step will provide a safer workplace, while also reducing costs.
2) Removing or Not Wearing Protective Equipment
Safety and protective equipment should be worn at all times when performing a task that merits them. Even if workers are uncomfortable due to weather conditions or believe they don't need to wear their equipment because they have done the job so often, the equipment needs to stay on. You should conduct a PPE Assessment to understand the necessary PPE, for the jobs in your facility. Once that is completed, you should provide the necessary equipment that fits properly and allows employees to do their job safely.
3) Substituting Scaffolding for a Ladder
Scaffolds and ladders are each made for specific situations and need to be used properly. Substituting scaffolding for a ladder or vice versa is dangerous and can lead to serious injuries. Falls are a major workplace safety concern, with 800 fatal work injuries in 2015. It is imperative that you provide the proper equipment and training for employees working on an elevated area.
4) Skipping Machine Inspections
You may be tempted to skip an inspection if a machine seems to be working fine. This is the wrong approach and can lead to problems down the line. Always get your machinery inspected at the dates the inspection is due. There may be problems that you are unable to recognize or hidden dangers you have not accounted for. Proper inspections by certified professionals ensure machines are running correctly and are not hazardous. Keeping up with inspections will help avoid untimely production downtime while also ensuring the safety of your employees.
5) Not Reviewing Safety Guidelines Each Year
You should revisit your safety guidelines every year so that they stay fresh in employee's minds. Training and the dissemination of workplace safety guidelines, rules and regulations needs to happen on a routine basis. Safety guidelines should reflect regulatory and facility changes and be made available for employees. A review of the guidelines should also take place to ensure each employee understands the rules. Taking this proactive approach shows your employees that you care about their well being and that safety is taken seriously in your organization.