Happy Wednesday! Welcome back to the Arbill Blog, where identifying health & safety hazards interfering with workplace safety is the theme this week. This post is all about building your Safety Checklist – your first step in creating a safe workplace.
- Research the Health and Safety Regulations that apply to your specific state and workplace. Nationwide regulations can be found at http://www.osha.gov/index.html. Another good way to discover exactly what is expected of your workplace, and to get a full survey of the hazards that exist there is to request an on-site consultation visit by your Arbill representative.
- Organize the regulations that pertain to your workplace. For example, all regulations regarding equipment should be together to allow any employee to easily find the regulation he or she is looking for.
- Create easy-to-read pages for each Health and Safety item that needs to be checked. You may have a page in the "equipment operation" section that lists all large pieces of equipment, as well as the regulation outlining what is considered to be safe equipment operation. There should be boxes beside each item, which can be checked to make it clear that the item is in accordance with regulations, as well as a place for the person doing the checks to date and sign.
- Accessibility - Keep the Health and Safety Checklist binder in an easily accessible place. Such documentation may need to be seen by a Health Inspector during an inspection.
Don’t forget to include the following items on your checklist for inspection:
- Floors: Keep your floors clear of any debris that could cause tripping. If your business involves working with fluids, such as a car repair shop, immediately mop up spills or leaks.
- Staircases: Staircases leading to storage areas can become a resting place for items like boxes of paper or tools. Check your staircases each day and clear them of any tripping hazards. Also, ensure stairways provide adequate lighting.
- Lighting: Proper lighting in office areas can help prevent eyestrain for computer workers. Outdoor lighting can create a safer journey from workplace to parking lot for your employees.
- Footwear: If you operate an industrial workplace, proper footwear is essential. If necessary, require your workers to wear steel-toed boots or shoes.
- Emergency Procedures: Train your employees on emergency procedures such as what to do in case of a fire or worker injury. Clearly mark all exits and have any emergency contact numbers within plain sight.
- First-Aid Kits: Supply your work area with a fully stocked first-aid kit. Even in office areas, workers can suffer cuts or fall over boxes or chairs.
- Safety Equipment: Be sure that you have adequate supplies of necessary safety clothing and equipment. Depending on the nature of your workplace, this may include goggles, hard hats, gloves, footwear or protective outerwear.
- Cleanliness: An unclean workplace can also pose a health and safety hazard. Be sure that all restrooms are cleaned at least once a day, and require employees to clean up after themselves in lunchrooms or cafeterias. Look for possible signs of rodent infestation such as shiny droppings or gnawed food packages.
- Elevated Surfaces: Elevated surfaces can present a tripping hazard. Mark any elevated areas with warning signs.
- Machines and Power Tools: Be sure that all machines and power tools are kept in proper working order and inspect them regularly. Also, be certain that all employees are properly trained to use equipment before allowing them to work alone.
We hope you’re finding our posts on identifying health and safety hazards in the workplace helpful. Be sure to come back on Friday for information on the Top 10 OSHA Violations of 2011. Subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss out on upcoming safety advice.