Workplace Safety Is A Number One Priority
Workplace safety is a number one priority — regardless of what industry you might be in. Organizations across Canada have a strong sense of responsibility for educating their employees on how to stay safe while performing their daily duties.
In every company, safe working environments are based on how well the people, in both management and the job site, adhere to and communicate about safety standards. Every company’s workplace safety effort should be fundamentally based on encouraging employees to identify unsafe behaviours and make their supervisors aware of potential risks or hazards.
By making it a habit to cultivate an open two-way communication channel for feedback, companies have an opportunity to make improvements. This includes proper training and protocols. This will equip your employees with the ability to exercise sound judgment and decision making while on-location.
Whether your employees are working with large power equipment, heavy tools or computers — accidents can happen. However, with appropriate preventative measures in place and a robust education system, safety risks can be drastically reduced or better yet, avoided.
Have a No-Phone Policy On-Site
More and more, mobile devices are becoming one of the most distracting elements of our day. Construction sites, factories or any other industry that requires the use of heavy equipment and a focused mind should implement a no-phone policy. Cell phones are a major distraction for most people so it’s best to keep mobile devices out of the hands of workers who need to perform focused tasks.
Prevent Trips and Hazards As Much As Possible
Keeping your job site clutter-free and picking up everything at the end of your night keeps things organized for the next workday. This should be something that every worker participates in and gets into the habit of performing. Move any large equipment out of the way keep walkways and hallways free of debris, clutter and obstacles. Run extension cords against walls or at the base of the building. Keep filing cabinets and desk drawers shut when not in use.
Wear the Correct Safety Equipment At All Times
Consistently wearing the correct safety equipment can drastically reduce the likelihood of a serious accident from occurring.
Depending on the job, safety equipment should always include:
- Safety goggles
- Face masks
- Steel toe boots
- Hard hats
- Safety vests
Make sure you’re using the correct protective equipment for the tool. For example, gloves aren’t to be used for certain machinery where there’s a high-risk that they can get caught. Employees should be trained in an alternative or specific technique and method to avoid getting hurt.
On a regular basis, make it a priority to establish and follow lockout/tag-out procedures that double-check all workers are wearing the correct equipment in order to be on-site.
Take Regular Breaks
So many work-related injuries and illnesses occur because a worker is tired, burned out and not aware of their surroundings. Working long hours at various times throughout the day and night is not uncommon. It’s incredibly important to take regular breaks and know your limits for both your employees and as a worker. Taking regular breaks helps you stay aware and mentally sharp. One trick to staying alert is to schedule the most difficult tasks when your concentration is best. For example, first thing in the morning. Don’t work back-to-back shifts on a consistent basis.
Encourage employees to be honest.
If a task is too much for them, make sure that they say so. They should not attempt something that you can’t handle. Sites should always be supervised and if there are any workplace safety hazards or risks, the supervisor needs to know about it. Remember, organizations are legally obligated to ensure their employees have a safe working environment and take to care of any unsafe conditions to make them safe for your workers.
Ensure the rules are followed and emergency planning is in place.
Supervisors should be prepared to answer all questions. Remember: when it comes to safety there are never any dumb questions. Make sure workers know where all the emergency exits are and that there is a clear pathway to them. It’s also recommended that there should be easy access to equipment shutoffs in case you need to quickly stop them from functioning. Making your workplace safe includes providing instructions, procedures, training, and supervision to encourage people to work safely and responsibly.
On-site managers, business owners, and supervisors are all responsible for getting their employees on board with workplace safety efforts. It’s paramount to encourage employees to become active participants in the safety process through regular training and programs. Finally, make sure your employees or supervisors are aware of the workplace injury statistics and all of the associated risks their job presents to them on a daily basis.
Make it a habit to regularly acknowledge the safety protocols your people follow and monitor and revise processes based on feedback. Offer incentives that reward your people for exemplifying great workplace safety behaviour. The reality is, following these simple steps really can save a life and make all the difference.