In the workplace, pedestrians can be employees, members of the public, contractors, or workers visiting from other offices. Pedestrian accidents involving vehicles are one of the main causes of workplace fatalities - in fact, 36% of forklift accident victims are pedestrians. But vehicles aren’t the only potential hazard for employees.
Pedestrians can also be exposed to potential harm in their workplaces from falling objects or slips, trips, and falls. Visitors to your office (e.g. delivery drivers) are especially at risk as they are unfamiliar with your workplace operations.
Below are 10 pedestrian safety guidelines that everyone should follow:
- Be alert. Whether you are walking in an office corridor or in a manufacturing environment, be aware of anything that might make you slip or stumble.
- When walking in high traffic areas, use extra caution when approaching blind corners. Consider adding hall mirrors when visibility is poor.
- Don’t take a hazardous shortcut. If you are late for a meeting it can be tempting to shorten your trip by walking under an inactive conveyor or through a construction zone - but it’s asking for trouble. It may take longer to go around, but the extra time is worth it.
- Always use handrails in stairwells and elevated places. Falls in the workplace are one of the leading causes of injury. These incidents can be reduced by simply using the physical tools that have been placed around your facility to enhance your safety.
- Never jump from platforms, scaffolds, loading docks, or other high areas. While this may seem like an obvious tip, the reality is that countless injuries occur each day because workers are trying to save time by jumping from unsafe heights.
- If your work takes you to another department, be sure you know and obey any special safety rules they might have. This includes wearing the proper PPE, knowing when it is safe to enter an area, and more importantly, when it is not.
- Stay within the lines. Always remain within designated walking areas when in a plant or similar environment. The lines are meant to be a guide to keep you in the safe zone. While you may think it is acceptable to traverse outside the lines, the forklift driver, for example, who is coming around a blind turn is working on the assumption that you are not in his safe space.
- Be respectful of power equipment. Keep a safe distance when walking near active equipment and never distract the operator.
- When walking in office parking lots take the time to look around, get the lay of the land, and recognize any potentially hazardous situations. A quick scan of the parking lot before you set off on your journey can mean the difference between a safe arrival and an unexpected incident.
- Don’t text and walk. Texting while walking can be just as hazardous as texting while driving. As the saying goes, “it can wait.”
As a company, there are some things you can do to facilitate a safer work environment for pedestrians. Signage is a simple way to alert anyone on your premises of potentially hazardous situations. Posting the right safety signs in the right locations will ensure your workers are fully aware of the potential safety hazards they may encounter in your facility as well as maintaining OSHA and GHS compliance., you need the right safety signs in the right locations.
Not sure which signs you need? Contact your Arbill representative or call 800-523-5367 to An Arbill safety expert will assist you in meeting your unique safety signage needs, while achieving significant cost savings.
Another practical tip to eliminate pedestrian accidents is to remove physical obstacles. This includes:
- Clear paths of obstructions, especially electrical cords or cables.
- Position furniture so drawers don’t open into walkways, causing a tripping hazard if left open.
- Ensure that rugs and other floor coverings lay smoothly.
- If a particular floor surface gets slippery, find a way to create extra traction, such as mats or vinyl traction strips.
As an employee, work safety is a shared responsibility between you, your coworkers and your employer. Take ownership of making sure your working environment is as safe as possible and raise any concerns you may have with your manager.
It can be difficult to keep track of all the safety standards and precautions your organization needs to take, but Arbill can help! Schedule a workplace safety site audit today and we will partner with you to design a customized program to help you avoid accidents, keep your employees safe, and ensure OSHA compliance.
Have a Safe Day!