Workplace safety is paramount, and sometimes the worst accidents are the easiest to prevent. Slips, trips and falls account for 25% of all injury claims per fiscal year and 15% of all accidental deaths, second only to motor vehicles. They are also responsible for more than 95 million lost work days annually.
Here are four simple ways to prevent your employees from getting “tripped” up.
Create Good Housekeeping Practices
Dry your floors with wood dust or powder and be sure to sweep away wet leaves and pine needles if you find them in your work area. Remember to practice regular maintenance and replace missing or uneven floor tiles or loose carpeting, and avoid using ladders or walkways with damaged steps or irregular handrails.
Reduce Wet or Slippery Surfaces
Don’t let floors remain wet or greasy – mop up spills right away with the proper cleaning solutions and put up warning signs if floors have been polished or freshly waxed. Be aware of inclement weather, such as rain or sleet, and how it may affect your work area, and make sure any shoes you and your employees wear are appropriate and provide necessary traction.
Avoid Creating Obstacles in Aisles and Walkways
Keep your areas clutter-free and make sure desk and file cabinet drawers remain closed. Organize any electrical power cords or cables to keep them out of walkways, and install proper lighting in all work stations. If there are any abrupt floor transitions, such as from tile to carpet, consider posting warning signs.
Control Individual Behavior
Encourage your employees to practice workplace safety common sense. Advise them to avoid running or jumping, as well as unruly behavior and clowning around.
When you’re standing or sitting at work for long periods of time, there’s nothing worse than sore legs and feet. Every year, two million sick days are lost to lower limb disorders. Ergonomic injuries come at a high cost. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, $1 of every $3 spent on workers’ compensation comes from insufficient ergonomic protection. It’s clear that taking steps to prevent these injuries is well worth it.
Electrical equipment is only as effective as it is protected. Whether you’re indoors, outdoors, exposed to water, or facing harsh weather conditions, electrical equipment needs to be protected by an enclosure. Choosing the right electrical enclosure requires some knowledge of electrical standards. Ratings from the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) provide guidance on what level of protection your enclosure needs depending on the environmental factors it is subjected to.
Slips, trips and falls are some of the most preventable workplace accidents, yet the numbers don’t seem to prove it. Second only to motor vehicles, incidents related to slips, trips and falls account for 15 percent of accidental deaths. They can also cost an employer an average of tens of thousands of dollars per incident.
Did you know that four million workers go to work each day in damaging noise? In just one year, 23,000 cases were reported of occupational hearing loss that was great enough to cause hearing impairment. And these are only the cases that were reported! From these statistics, it’s clear that we’re not doing enough to prevent hearing loss at work. Employers give earplugs and earmuffs to employees, but getting employees to wear them when they need to is another story altogether.