No one wants to get hurt, but sometimes we neglect best safety practices because it takes extra time and effort, a little extra time is always worth it to avoid an injury.
Checking workplace safety throughout the day is an easy way to keep your working environment safe. If you are a supervisor, it shows your employees that you care about them and their well-being. Being safety oriented can help improve your employees’ morale, productivity, and even make a good impression on visitors.
If you are an employee, following safety protocols are in your and your coworkers’ best interests. We’ve got 10 good tips for keeping you and other people safe at work below. Give them a quick review and we hope they help to keep you safe and healthy.
1. Inform Supervisors of Unsafe Conditions
If you see something that could potentially hurt someone, remove the object or clean the area if you can do so safely. Otherwise, inform your supervisor. Since your supervisor is legally obligated to keep you and your fellow employees’ working environment safe, they must take action.
See our Job Hazard Analysis training course for more related information.
2. Use Equipment Properly
Misusing tools and machines is the most prevalent cause of workplace injuries. When using equipment, make sure that you are using each piece of equipment for its intended purpose and are using it correctly. Furthermore, regularly clean and inspect equipment to ensure that it is safe.
See our Hand and Power Tools Safety training course for more related information.
3. Wear Safety Equipment (PPE)
When cleaning up messes and using equipment, make sure you wear the proper safety equipment. Making sure you wear the proper safety equipment and checking that your safety equipment is undamaged significantly lowers your likelihood of getting injured.
See our Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) training course for more related information.
4. Prevent Slips and Trips
As the second most prevalent cause of nonfatal occupational injuries, it is vital to ensure that aisles are clear and spills are cleaned to prevent employees from tripping or slipping. If you are dealing with a liquid, use drip pans and guards. Clean up any spills immediately to keep conditions safe. Also, check your workplace to make sure there are no holes, loose boards, or nails projecting from the floor. If any of these characteristics exist, replace the damaged flooring. In areas that cannot easily be cleaned, consider installing anti-slip flooring.
See our Slips, Trips, and Falls training course for more related information.
5. Keep Work Areas and Emergency Exits Clear
Make sure to remove any clutter blocking emergency exits, equipment shutoffs, and areas that you are working. A cluttered work area can lead to not having enough space to use tools and pick up heavy objects properly. Furthermore, if an exit is obstructed, you may not be able to quickly escape if an emergency occurs. Placing equipment in proper storage areas after use will help keep the work area and emergency exits clear.
See our Emergency Action Plan training course for more information.
6. Eliminate Fire Hazards
If you are using combustible materials in the work environment, only keep the amount you need for the task at hand. When you are not using the flammable material, store the chemical in an assigned safe storage area away from sources of ignition. Also, store combustible waste in metal receptacles and dispose of it daily.
5 percent or more of a room’s surface being covered at 0.8 millimeters of dust—about the width of a dime—can cause an explosion if the dust catches on fire. To prevent dust accumulation, use industrial vacuums to frequently clean areas where dust gathers.
7. Avoid Tracking Hazardous Materials
To ensure that hazardous materials are not accidentally tracked into other areas, make sure that work area mats are maintained and kept clean. Prevent cross-contamination by using different cleaning materials—such as mops—for various spills, and change clothes if you spill toxic materials on them. Also, if you work with toxic materials, do not wear your work clothes home.
See our Industrial Hygiene training course for more related information.
8. Prevent Objects from Falling
To keep objects from falling, use protections such as nets, toe boards, and toe rails. In addition, stack boxes straight up and down, and place heavy objects on lower shelves. Furthermore, keep stacked objects out of the way of aisles and work areas.
See our Forklift-Reducing Product Damage training course for more related information.
9. Use Correct Posture when Lifting
To avoid injuring your back when you are trying to pick up an item, keep your back straight, use your legs to lift, and pick up the item without stooping or twisting. Whenever possible, use mechanical aids such as a conveyor belt, wheelbarrow, or forklift.
See our Back Injury Prevention training course for more information.
10. Take Breaks
Many work-related injuries occur when a worker is tired and cannot adequately observe dangers in their surroundings. By taking regular breaks, you are able to stay more alert when working.
See our Heat Stress Prevention training course for more related information.
It is everyone’s job to keep the workplace safe. Make sure to follow these ten tips to keep your workplace safe for yourself and your coworkers. Remember, safety starts with you.
Job Hazard Analysis Guide
Learn how to perform a job hazard analysis on the job with our free step-by-step guide.