Proper training reduces on-the-job accidents and injuries and promotes a positive health and safety culture in the workplace.
Workplace Safety Should be Priority
Accidents and injuries can happen in any workplace, especially when hazardous conditions exist and workers are not properly trained. Workers employed in high-risk jobs like construction, mining, industrial plants, emergency medicine, law enforcement, and public service face serious injury risks every day. Workers who handle routine daily tasks or have been doing the same job for many years face injury risks from a non-attentive attitude. Without proper safety training, workers are vulnerable to workplace accidents that result in serious injuries or death.
Developing a workplace safety culture requires the attention of employers and employees. Workplace safety cannot exist on company policies and guidelines alone. A safe working environment is based on communication between management and workers that encourages a company safety culture. Through training and communication, workers learn to identify hazardous job conditions, unsafe workplace behaviors, and opportunities for improvement. This helps workers to avoid accidents and injuries by making well-informed safety decisions.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) oversees and regulates safety rules and guidelines within the workplace. OSHA helps businesses implement workplace safety programs that protect workers from occupational illnesses and diseases, injuries, and fatalities. Employers are required to provide safe work environments for all workers. Employers who don’t comply with OSHA safety rules and regulations are cited with safety violations that carry steep fines. Employers who receive excessive safety violations and/or do not fix safety problems face business closures.
Top 10 Workplace Safety Tips
Building a safety culture within any work environment requires important job training that promotes worker safety at all times. Business owners, managers, and supervisors play a major role by discussing potential job-related injury risks and getting workers actively involved with their own safety. Workers are trained to prevent serious accidents and injuries by making workplace safety a priority. Many employers offer incentives or rewards for workers who exemplify excellent workplace safety behaviors.
1. Staying Aware of Surroundings
Workers are taught to recognize job hazards and dangerous conditions in the workplace. Observing surroundings and recognizing job injury risks helps workers to stay safe on their job each day.
2. Reporting Unsafe Conditions
Workers are encouraged to report unsafe working conditions to supervisors or managers. Once reported, management is obligated to follow up on safety reports and fix unsafe conditions that may cause injuries to workers.
3. Using Machinery, Tools, and Equipment Properly
When jobs require the use of heavy machinery, power tools, moving equipment, and working at dangerous heights, workers must be properly trained to use the right tool for the right job. Improper use of equipment is a leading cause of injury and death in certain jobs.
4. Using Mechanical Aids When Possible
When jobs require heavy lifting and moving, workers must use mechanical aids like conveyor belts, forklifts, dollies, or carts whenever possible. Workers who try to cut corners or save time by manually lifting or moving heavy objects face neck, back, arm, and leg injuries from pulled muscles and sprains.
5. Wearing Safety Equipment
Proper safety equipment is essential for certain workers to prevent injuries. Hard hats, safety goggles, gloves, face masks, respirators, earplugs, and fire-retardant clothing is designed to protect workers in high-risk jobs where workplace accidents and injuries are more common.
6. Keeping Good Posture
For employees in office jobs who work behind a desk all day, good posture and ergonomic workplaces are essential. Office workers who perform repetitive daily tasks are at high risks for carpel tunnel, neck and back strains, muscle sprains, digestive problems, blood clots, and vision problems.
7. Reducing Workplace Stress
Workers in all types of work environments are vulnerable to job stress from heavy workloads, long work hours, co-worker or management conflicts, inadequate wages, and job insecurity. Workers should be encouraged to discuss workplace stress with supervisors or managers without retribution.
8. Taking Regular Breaks
Many work-related injuries and illnesses occur because a worker is tired, distracted, or non-attentive to work tasks. Taking regular breaks helps workers to feel refreshed and more alert. Workers should be encouraged to stand up and stretch, take a short walk, or get a breath of fresh air on their breaks.
9. Keeping Emergency Exits Clear
OSHA safety regulations require workplace emergency exits to be kept clear at all times. If exits are blocked by equipment, boxes, debris, or other objects, workers face increased injury risks from fires, explosions, toxic fumes, attacks, and unexpected emergencies.
10. Knowing Evacuation Procedures
OSHA requires all employers to make employees aware of evacuation procedures through posted notices, in-house manuals, or employee handouts. Employees should know about emergency alert signals, safe evacuation routes, outdoor meeting areas, and communication methods.