How To Create a Safe Working Enviroment in the Workplace

A serious workplace death or injury can have far-reaching consequences on victim’s life as well as his/her family. Apart from death and injuries incurred, workplace accidents can have very serious effects employee’s productivity. Unfortunately, the number of workplace injuries and death keeps on increasing. Workplace safety is not only the responsibility of the management, but also employees. Creating a safe working environment involves formation and implementation of the safety programs that safeguards the safety of your employees. It also involves training employees on how to avoid workplace accidents and how to handle risks if an accident occurs. In the UK, there are agencies that teach and train employees on how to fights risks and handle accident at the workplace. Some of the benefits of having creating a safe working environment are;

Having proper safety program is a cost-effective decision that every company or organization should have. Your employees will work better when they know they are working in a safe place. Training your employee on how to avoid accidents at workplace and how to deal with accidents when they occur will boost employee morale and consequently, increase productivity and profit. According to research done in the UK, companies that have implemented proper safety programs lower workplace injuries and illness by more than 20%. The research found that employee’s injuries at construction firm without proper program account for more that 6% of the project cost.

The benefits of having proper safety program goes beyond financial benefits. A proper workplace program can also protect company’s reputation. If your employees are injured, this means that your customers will be served by few employees, this can cause delays in services delivery. Having proper safety program will also help to defend your company’s hard earned reputation.

Having this helps to comply with the rules and also satisfies insurance requirements. Implementing these measures ensures that your company meets legal workplace safety.

Unfortunately, the number of injuries and deaths at the workplace keeps on increasing each year. Some of the cost-effective ways you can improve are;

Hire workplace safety agency

Hiring workplace safety agency is one of the best ways you can improve safety at your company. The agency will teach and train your employees on how to prevent workplace accidents and how to handle workplace accidents. Because they have the best techniques that can make the workplace safer, this will immensely improve safety in your company. The agency will install mandatory signs at the workplace and other services that will make your company a safer place.

Provide proper tools and equipment

Although the employees will take maximum caution, it is also very important to provide the right tools and equipment. For example, you should provide safety gears such as gumboots, overalls, dust mask and other safety gears that will safeguard the safety and health.

First aid kits

You should ensure there are first aid kits in the workplace.

Although achieving 100% safe workplace can be challenging, hiring the right workplace agency can make your company a safer place.

Workplace Safety – Advice for Working at Extreme Heights

Work at heights has become a topic in recent times with most nations and laws slowly changing in how they define a height – but most publicity has surrounded the use of ladders and whether they are suitable for work at heights.

Traditionally we could assume a height was in the region of 2 metres – legislation usually setting this as the height at which injuries would occur and should be controlled. Obviously as we increase from 2 metres the potential risks increase until somewhere around 15-30 metres after which the end results don’t change much.

However in recent times there’s been a move to say anything that could harm by falls etc. should be deemed a height. I wouldn’t disagree that any possible risk should be assessed and evaluated but equally we know that risk increases with height in most cases and the care needed thus increases too. But obviously take account of other factors – what will be fallen onto, what are they carrying/holding all of which can increase the risks.

So what are the risks – the obvious ones are people falling and items falling onto those below – but also consider the safety of the structure or equipment used to get people to height and the general means of access to the height.

Preventing Falls:

In truth there are three core methods for preventing falls supported by an over reaching need for a stable work platform/area. The three methods are in order of effectiveness:

Safety Barriers and Edge Protection – A wall or barrier of more than 1.1 metres in height is the ideal means of ensuring safety at heights. Its the only method for large populations working at heights or where public are allowed into an area.

Safety Harnesses and Restraint Lines – These when used properly by trained people are the nest best method. They need to be used or at least set up by competent people and will only protect the user. Depending on the work and the requirements the ideal restraint system is one that actually prevents a fall – so a tether line that prevents you falling off the edge is better than one that allows you to step off the “edge” but prevents you falling more than 2 metres.

Safe Distance – in theory – on flat roofs with limited numbers of people you can reduce risks by ensuring no one enters an area within 3 metres of the edge. Its limited in that it requires workers to remember the distance when occupied with other things – but for short term work it can be a simple solution when other solutions aren’t practical.

Preventing Items Falling

To prevent items falling good housekeeping is essential at all times – but equally ensuring things can’t fall by means of physical barriers, kick boards on scaffolds/platforms or lanyards attaching tools to the workers all help reduce the risks.

If risks remain then exclusion zones below the work area are required – areas that the public and staff don’t/can’t enter. Obviously this may also be a hard hat zone to help mitigate risks for staff required to work in such areas.

When looking at heights with regards to storage areas such as mezzanine storage ensure items are not stacked higher than the safety barrier or if they are some means of preventing falling items is in place.

Access Equipment:

Obviously when a height can be reached by means of steps or doors then the issue is resolved – but when you need to use access equipment, the use of scaffolds, elevating work platforms (EWP) such as cherry pickers or scissor lifts are better than ladders. They typically provide edge protection and kickboards to reduce the risks from tools and equipment falling too.

When such are used it is important to ensure the scaffold is properly constructed and signed off as required by competent people and that work platforms are maintained, inspected and checked by competent people to ensure their continued safety.

Ladders have not been outlawed as claimed by some – there’s merely been questions raised as to whether they’re suitable for prolonged work. It as always boils down to risk assessment. We have to accept scaffolds or EWP are safer than ladders – however for short term work or work in inaccessible areas a ladder may be the only realistic option. As general access the same rules for safety as ever apply – position it right, make sure its stable, ensure its in good order and the user is competent and knows the basics of ladder safety. Also there are options to make use of safety harness and anchor points for work on ladders that will last more than 15 minutes or involve less than ideal tasks for a ladder.

When using ladders and step ladders think about the user and what they’re doing – plus the frequency of use. Standard ladders and step ladders are fine for occasional simple jobs – but in warehousing, archive arears where people will be loading/unloading items at height then invest in step ladders with handrails and good working platforms.

Specialist Height Working:

When we consider the use of rope access systems the same principles apply its just a more extreme case and relies utterly on the competence of those setting up the work. When looking at rope access you need access to specialist riggers – now that means specialist qualifications – typically IRATA but there are other bodies that certify trained personnel depending on the country or industry. But competent people are the key.

Workplace Safety – Tips for Working Safely in a Factory Setting

Communication can be your best friend or your worst enemy. If it’s your best friend in the workplace, then it’ll definitely improve your overall workplace culture.

Also, solid organizational communication will help in eliminating barriers, resolving problems and improving workplace safety.

However, your communication skills tend to fluctuate, no matter how many years you have been talking, writing or mentoring other people.

It is true that if you’ve concise and clear communication skills, then you’re more likely to be promoted to leadership positions, But these skills that got you there won’t keep you there forever.

Thus, you’ve to keep on improving yourself on a regular basis to secure your place.

Stay safe at work by learning how to communicate clearly and more effectively. After all, no one likes someone who uses a high-sounding words when writing safety memos.

Refrain from sending unclear safety messages so you can build a workplace that is free of confusing safety communication.

When it comes to confusing communication at the workplace, there are some mistakes that are made by safety professionals.

Here is a List of 5 Silly Mistakes That Make Your Workplace Communication Quite Confusing

Stick to the Message: When you start talking or writing about one safety process and then all of a sudden jump to another, then you make the things complicated and confusing.

For example, while talking about the need to wear safety gloves, you decided to talk about company’s infrastructure and how you’re going to increase the manpower.

Well, you should stick to one point otherwise, people will stop listening and all your time and effort will be wasted.

Using High-Sounding Words: You can show off your vocabulary of high-sounding words in school or college, but not in the business world as people will tune out.

Using ‘sedulous’ instead of ‘hard-working’ or ‘loquacious’ in place of ‘talkative’ is not a good idea. After all, how are the employees supposed to know what to do when they don’t even know the meaning of your words?

Right?

Extra Long Safety Essays: Well, in this super-fast world, no one needs that much information and no one has time to read those long list of Do’s and Don’ts. You have to realize that your role is to provide safety insight and not content for the sake of content.

Thus, forget putting up notices around the office when you are hosting an upcoming safety training seminar.

Instead, request the attendance of your workers for safety events, training, and seminars in person. Because a face-to-face invitation is much more difficult to avoid than a “lost” email, “misplaced” document or “torn” notice.

And yes, don’t expect that your workers can read your mind. So, tell them exactly what you want, why is it important, and what do you expect from them in a few but clear words.

Not Asking for What You Want Directly: This is a blunder and is committed by most of the safety professionals. Because they often underestimate the power of just asking directly.

They depend on throwing hints and expecting people to guess what they want them to do.

So, start on living by the mantra, “if you don’t ask for it, you’ll not get it”. Also, giving people information is not enough, you have to ask for action.

Vague or No Deadlines: Clear communication about safe workplace solutions or any other topic is all about being specific.

Thus, be specific about what you want from your workers and when. How high, how much, how far?

How, where, and with whom? Don’t be hazy about all this as laziness is not the hallmark of a good communicator.

Moreover, providing them with information is not enough, provide them with the insights, which they need to keep themselves safe at the workplace.

Summing up

Effective communication is a continual process, therefore it’s an integral part of every company. So, keep on improving your safety communication skills to ensure high quality safety leadership.Because safety communication is all about getting people to feel that the procedure is crucial and then making the necessary changes in their behavior.