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7 Key Tactics The Pros Use To Avoid Workplace Injuries
Sadly, when an employee’s injured on the job, the recurring medical costs add up and, unless you have extremely deep pockets, these costs will become a serious burden real fast.
Not to mention the tragedy of a human getting hurt in the first place. The best to avoid anybody getting hurt in the first place is ensuring every single person who steps into your business knows which hazards are what, and how to prevent them.
1. Clear Pathways
If the walkways and paths that workers use are littered with clutter, junk, and giant obstructions… How can you expect busy, multi-tasking, busily-thinking workers not to trip and slip while they’re on the job?
Making sure common areas are well-lit is a sure-fire approach to ensure people get to their destination fall-free. Think of implementing slip-resistant flooring that serves the primary function of each particular area – like rubber mats in restaurant kitchens.
Slip-resistant flooring may just be an incredibly genius invention – as foot traffic, much like an ocean wave, comes and goes in waves and droves. One minute it’s busy, the next it’s not, and it’s hard to figure out exactly what the busiest times are going to be, day in and day out.
2. Don’t Strain Yourself
We live in the world of technology, there’s no getting around there. Everywhere we look, there’s another piece of tech to keep us reeled in and tuned-in to the entire world. Even simple, mundane tools that have been in our lives since the 80s; keyboards, mice, screens, etc. Without the proper ergonomic equipment to keep ourselves functioning, these devices end up crippling us.
One way to combat all of this is by designing (and creating) your very own ergonomic office. Pretty cool, right?
3. Stay Up-To-Date About Hazards
Be vigilant out there! It’s not enough to know about hazards – new ones are developing all the time, and you’ve got to know them forwards and backwards. You have to know more about them than what your spouse’s favorite dish is for dinner.
And then educate employees about how to prevent them, and on what to do in case these hazards occur.
Think about smartphones: people crossing the street while looking at their phone! How dangerous is that? Think about all the moronic drivers there are in the world – people who don’t pay attention and are reckless with what they do in traffic. Maybe some lunatic driver’s looking at his/her phone the exact moment some poor desolate soul decides to cross the street – eyes glued to the phone. Nobody bothers using their eyes at all, and you see a hit-and-run waiting to happen.
Knowledge isn’t just power – it’s life-saving.
4. Safety Management Systems
These systems are predictive analytics whose primary function is simple: sort through several projects and identify the chances one of those projects will cause an injury.
The VP of one large electrical contractor and system integrator used his safety management system on Friday. By Monday, he looked at the results. The high-risk activities were reviewed and discussed by the team, and they worked together to find ways of managing that risk and preventing injury.
Sure enough, it worked! Problem was, an injury happened later on in the week. As always, the point is this: safety management systems work -when used correctly – to predict high-risk activities and take preventative measures.
There’s no short of trips to the ER to fix concussions, fractured necks, and a whole treasure chest of falling-object injuries.
Sometimes, things come flying and falling at your head every which way from Tuesday. Hardhats in environments and spaces like these are a must – in fact, this should be mandatory by now. That’s the most common way to save your noggin from slobbering all over the concrete.
Always wearing proper PPE. Safety glasses, goggles, face shields, etc. It’s the 21st century – I’ve met tons of managers who couldn’t be bothered to wear anything on their precious, sweet-as-sugar mug. Anything to maintain safety in the workplace.
Sadly, vehicles are often involved in “struck by..” accidents; regular, real-world safety measures such as fastening seat belts, checking vehicles thoroughly, and wearing incredibly-visible/neon-bright clothing are a necessity. There is no chance of being too over the top when it comes to protecting peoples’ lives.
6. Safety Software
Workplace injuries can be predicted with 97% accuracy. This is big. Huge, even.
Why? It goes without saying that if injuries can be predicted, they can be prevented.
In fact, how does reducing an injury rate by 67% within 18 months feel to you? A Fortune 150 energy company did just that. How would reducing your workday rate by 97% in 12 months feel? A Fortune 150 manufacturer did exactly that, using analytics.
Gone are the ways of boring, old, inefficient conventional methods – tech is here to save the world again. Machine-learning algorithms developed in Pittsburgh, such as the CMULT (Carnegie Mellon University’s Language Translation Institute) manufactured such a money-and-life-saving device.
In fact, a safety software system called SafetyNet (right on point with that name) red-flagged 4 out of 10 locations as being high-risk for injuries. You can bet that the people who read those results did their best to prevent those injuries – all thanks to the simplicity of collecting workplace safety data.
Bonus tip: it’s OSHA’s responsibility to develop new strategies and regulations when it comes to workplace safety. This extends to forklift maintenance and it is important to get your team certified for it. Follow OSHA’s safety protocols as soon as you can.
If there’s a task you’re struggling with? Swallow your pride and ask for help – you’re a part of a team. How valuable to the team are you if you’re injured and home-ridden for the next few months? Recuperating for any number of reasons.
There’s a common problem storming through the business world. It’s a monster that’s been running rampant for ages. It’s called overexertion, pushing yourself too far by doing too much – going far past your personal limits.
Some symptoms of overexertion are:
- Low blood sugar
- Chest pains and/or profuse sweating
Granted, not many of us have the luxury of a pair of second hands or help. In this case, I’m sure we can all agree that proper training (and training techniques) is absolutely vital in this case – right?
Preventing injuries to your workers, or yourself, is as simple as using common sense. There is no shortage of information about health and safety, and I hope you’ve found something useful. Be safe out there.
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