Occupational hazards are present in almost every workplace, so many of us can attest to their nature of sneaking up on unaware workers. Almost everyone has a story about when a co worker was injured as a result of their work, be it as simple to remedy as the heat being too high on a hot water tap, or as complex as needing to run through work active manual handling training again. This list has been designed to outline some of the more straightforward ways to make your workplace safer for you and your co-workers.
On The Job Training
This one is pretty cut and dry, because it is almost entirely common sense.
When working in an environment that requires specialized skills, provide your workers with the relevant training on-site, which not only helps get the job get done more efficiently, but also means your workers get the appropriate safety training. Just because this one is required by law, doesn’t mean it’s always implemented.
For slightly more dangerous jobs, such as construction, or something involving hazardous materials, safety equipment is a must. Hardhats for areas with potential to have falling hazards, and eyewear protection for chemical-heavy environments such as laboratories. These items make hazards less likely to do serious damage to a person in the event they do interact with a worker, and are mostly required by law in hazardous workplaces.
Protective clothes are different from protective equipment, but are just as important in places like mechanic garages and warehouses. Steel-capped boots and thicker, rougher clothes are often needed as uniform, but also to provide the workers with an easy-to-manage safety scheme to prevent toes getting broken or oil and other chemicals getting onto skin. This also protects your clothes worn underneath the heavy-duty work gear, which is yet another reason to maintain strict uniform standards at work.
In hazardous environments, shift work tends to work well, and working someone when they are exhausted is a real danger to the workers around that person. Providing reasonable hours for your workers is essential in maintaining a safe workplace for your workers, and no worker should be working for more than 8hrs in one stretch in a hazardous environment. Fatigue and overexertion can cause people to make mistakes and mistakes can lead to injury or even death.
Communication and Teamwork
Communication is key in any workplace, overly hazardous or not, but in a hazard-filled environment it can mean the difference between safety and injury. Communicating clearly with your co-workers and management staff and making sure everyone understands what everyone else is doing is a big part of reducing risk factors in an active workplace, and as an added bonus, increasing productivity through efficiency. Teamwork is also a big part of this, as a solution, because it allows bigger or more dangerous jobs to be taken on by a few different people, each of which can look out for the safety and wellbeing of each other and themselves. This is an extremely low-risk way of managing high-risk jobs.
Even in office workplaces, risks are present, but in a hazardous environment the risks can mean someone’s life, so the safety practices above are essential to enforce. Many of them are required by law in any registered workplace, but such a requirement doesn’t always hold much with management, so it might be up to you to insist on the proper safety regulations being followed to the letter.