An accidental fall could cause a grievous injury. And if this fall occurs at the workplace, the employer has to take responsibility for the employee’s well-being and recovery. The outcome of the fall could be anything; the employee might fully recover while the organization bears the treatment expenses, or it could lead to something worse, in which case the company could face legal charges, along with a setback on its reputation. So, isn’t it better to take precautions and preventive measures to reduce avoidable mistakes and ensure workplace safety?
Accidents can happen anywhere and anytime in spite of the best safety programs in place. Undertaking certain strategic measures can help prevent these workplace injuries and illnesses. In this blog we will look at some common workplace safety mistakes which should be avoided in order to maintain a safe working environment.
Listed below are some key mistakes to avoid in order to ensure workplace safety :
1. Lack of Effective Training
Employees must be well trained in handling tools and equipment. Lack of proper training could lead to risks in the future. For example, if an employee is not well aware of how to operate a machine, s/he could end up causing damage to the equipment or to him/herself. Such kind of occupational hazards can be easily avoided by delivering timely training and conducting tests and assessments to gauge their understanding. With online safety training modules, it becomes easier to deliver training to your employees, as they can access the courses any time they want.
2. Incorrect Posture:
Observe the people around you, most of them tend to slouch while sitting and are intently staring at their laptops or mobile devices. The most common problem that people face in corporate offices are back, neck and eye related complaints. Constantly sitting in front of the laptop causes eye strain, leading to vision related problems. For people with desk jobs where they have to sit for long hours, posture plays an important role. There are certain ideal postures for desk-job employees, where they must sit with their shoulders and back straight, feet resting on the ground and arms at a certain angle while working on a computer. But people hardly tend to follow these rules, which eventually affects them in the long run. To ensure that employees are maintaining the right posture while working, you can roll out emails emphasizing the importance of correct posture and the health problems that it could avoid.
3. Content Spilled on the Floor:
Wet floors cause people to fall more often than you’d like to think. At times, there could be some form of liquid spilled on the floor which might go unnoticed. So, your admin team must ensure that the floor is cleaned every few hours. Routine floor cleaning process will help keep the surroundings clean and prevent any unfortunate accidents.
4. Workplace Stress:
Stress often leads to many additional health risks. Workplace stress is usually caused due to long working hours, conflicts with coworkers or managers, too much work pressure etc. These work-related problems often affect an employee’s mental well-being. Workplace stress also demotivates employees, resulting in high turnovers. To tackle this issue, you must encourage employees to come forth and inform the HR or managers about work-related stress, if any. If you cannot provide an immediate solution to their problem, assure them that you will help them as soon as possible. Try to create a balanced work environment to keep your employees happy and stress free.
5. Obstacles Lying on The Floor:
Often when we see something lying on the floor, we tend to ignore it and walk around it. If it is something that is easily movable and could possibly cause someone to trip or fall, move it out of the way. Or ask the concerned person to get it removed. Simple measures such as being alert and aware of potential danger can help maintain workplace safety.
6. Uncomfortable or Broken Chairs:
People with desk jobs sit for an average of 7 to 8 hours a day. Having an uncomfortable chair will only add to their woes. If there are any chairs with broken wheels, hand-rest, or back-rest, ensure that it is fixed. The last thing you want is an employee falling off a chair while working.
Nowadays, workplaces are trying to incorporate a healthy work culture. Employees are encouraged to take breaks to stretch and relax. A lot of corporate offices have introduced standing desks as a way to avoid sitting for long hours. In some places, employees are also allowed to move around the office with their laptop and sit anywhere they like. All this is an effort to boost productivity by encouraging employees to stay mentally and physically active.
7. Delay in Maintenance and Inspection:
Certain things are not meant to be postponed to a later date, and workplace safety is one of them. A delay in maintenance could cost an employee’s life. Do not put-off inspection of tools and systems. Regular inspections will help you avoid future problems. Machines, servers, air conditioning systems etc., must be regularly inspected and cleaned if required.
8. Neglecting Minor Events:
We often overlook or fail to notice certain obvious things which could be a potential danger.
Minor incidents could lead to something major someday. Say for example, a nail that is poking out of a wall. Although it has not grazed or poked anybody yet does not mean that it won’t happen ever. Similarly, if you happen to see a stray or loose wire, report it immediately so that the team responsible for it can fix/remove it. Such near misses must be taken care of so as to avoid unwanted incidents.
Before starting out with a workplace safety plan, you must first find out the existing problems that are persistent in the workplace. It could be anything from uneven flooring, leaky walls, to pest infestation. Find out the problems that your employees are facing and based on it you can design an effective plan to eradicate those problems. After examining the current scenario, employers can create a well-thought-out and effective safety training program. You must also take into consideration the OSHA authorized guidelines to create safe working conditions and ensure workplace safety. By taking the necessary precautions and avoiding the above-stated mistakes, you can keep your workplace safe and accident-free.