SAFETY TOOLS FOR THE WORKPLACE
Accidents often occur in the workplace. A recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Survey of Occupational Illnesses and Injuries revealed approximately 3 million non-fatal injuries and illnesses affected private industry workers and 722,000 impacted state and local government workers in 2014.
There are various quick and efficient easy ways to improve office safety which include the following:
1. Focus on office safety. For example, if office chair breaks or a stairwell light goes out, employees should not hesitate to inform their employers. Employers should then act immediately to respond to workers’ on-the-job safety concerns.
2. Keep your office space clean. Dealing with a messy workplace negatively impacts all employees. If office staff members keep their workstations neat and tidy, employees can then reduce the risk of clutter in the workplace which may potentially results in falls, trips, and other on-the-job mishaps.
3. Provide workplace safety and health training. Education is an empowering tool for employees. If employers develop effective office safety training programs and update their programs consistently, employers can teach their employees methods to identify and address on-the-job crisis in an expedited manner.
4. Schedule regular employee meetings. Allow employees the opportunity to express their on-the-job safety concerns by scheduling monthly meetings. Workplace meetings can enable employers to share their progress as they strive to create safe, effective work environments designed to help workers become more productive.
Let's also not forget a few of the basic workplace safety tools which include the following:
A. Ergonomic Supplies: A regular office chair or desk may be insufficient, as either of these items may cause employees to suffer carpal tunnel and back and neck pain over time. The use of ergonomic supplies will allow an employer can help workers remain comfortable as they perform day-to-day tasks while minimizing the risk of long-term injuries.
B. Back Braces: Back braces should be available and used when the employee lifts heavy items. Not only do back braces allow employees to lift heavy items with ease but they are also a sound preventative measure to avoid potential back or neck injuries.
C. Fire Alarm: How will workers know of a potential fire or fire hazard in the workplace? If a fire alarm is in place, workers can receive an instant notification at the first sign of a fire. In addition, the fire alarm should also be monitored to ensure proper operation and necessary maintenance.
D. Fire Extinguisher: Employees must act quickly to minimize the damage of a fire in the event it occurs. With a fire extinguisher in a common place, employees can work fast to diffuse a fire. Subsequently, employers should keep all fire extinguishers in locations that are easy to find and ensure all employees are knowledgeable of how to use the fire extinguisher.
E. First Aid Kit: The first aid kit should include cold packs, disinfectants, bandages and other first aid items. If an on-the-job accident occurs, employees can then use the tools available in the the first aid kit to provide immediate assistance until advanced medical personnel arrive on scene. It is also important to ensure that the first aid kit is replenished when items are used.
F. Flashlights: Flashlights are important in the workplace in the event of a power outage and/or an electrical storm. Flashlights allow employees to find one another, even in the dark. Employers also should have plenty of batteries on hand to ensure these flashlights will remain operational in blackouts and other emergencies.
G. Gloves: Safety hygiene and protocol is critical, particularly if employees are tasked with cleaning up a workspace mess that involves bodily fluids.
H. Ladders: Ladders and stepstools should be made available in the workplace to ensure employees can remain safe when they reach for normally inaccessible areas. While using a ladder or stepstool, an employee who climbs the rungs should work and communicate with a fellow employee who remains at the bottom of the ladder or stepstool.
I. Warning Signs: A wet bathroom or tiled area can be dangerous, and even a single misstep can lead to long-lasting harm. Warning signs are easy to set up and can be used to help workers identify trip and fall hazards.
Workplace safety can have long lasting effects on employees regardless of a company’s size, stature or industry. Employers that wish to enhance their current organizational safety and wellness plans can provide on-the-job safety training which should include cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid training.
To learn more about CPR and First Aid training for your workplace contact us at 210-380-5344.
Dr. Tracy A. Jones is an American Heart Association, ASHI, and American Red Cross Master Program Trainer, Instructor, & AHA Faculty Member located in San Antonio, Texas.