Workplace Hazards Start Small: 4 Common Mistakes to Avoid
No matter how careful you are, accidents happen. Sometimes it's nothing more than a stubbed toe. But what happens when an employee suffers a more severe injury on the job? Your company could lose a valuable team member for a period of time and open itself up to potential liability.
It is everyone's responsibility to help create a culture of safety around the workplace. That means noticing and remedying the little hazards before they grow into big headaches.
Below are examples of small hazards that should be taken care of right away:
1) A Puddle of Oil on the Floor
What may only look like a small spot of oil could become a big problem for your business. Aside from the slip and fall potential, leaking oil can present a potential environmental non conformance challenge.
It could very well be just an innocent mistake and case of forgotten supplies or tools that have been left out. However, regardless of whether it's an aisle that your customers or your employees use, the box is creating a very real tripping hazard that could cause injury.
You should remove the box immediately, and place it in its proper storage space, if you have one. If you don't have a proper storage space you should work to establish one. Identifying where boxes should be stored and effectively communicating this with employees, will reduce tripping hazards and prevent issues of cluttering down the road.
3) A ladder in Front of a Door
Not walking under a ladder may be superstitious, but this common tool can pose a real hazard. Not only could people walk into it and injure themselves, but also if there is a person using it at the time, you run the risk of them falling and being injured as well.
If you happen to see this particular hazard, take the time to mark off a safe work area with warning tape. Also, offer to support the ladder for the person who is climbing it, to prevent a fall.
4) "It's Just a Scratch!"
Many workers overlook a small scratch, "toughing it out" instead of being inconvenienced by a trip to the first aid station. However, a small scratch can easily become something far worse. Infection is a serious concern that could even prove to be life threatening.
If an employee is injured on the job, no matter how small, take the necessary steps to report the injury and then discuss treatment options. Management should also ensure that first aid kits are readily available and contain the necessary equipment.
Remember that a vigilant attitude and consistent and constant training help create an atmosphere of safety around the workplace. A truly safe work environment is never dictated by just one person but takes a dedicated team effort.