Establishing a safety plan at your company is necessary as a single incident could significantly hurt your business financially. Taking preventative measures in the workplace can prevent accidents from occurring, educating your employees on the risks that could occur in the workplace and incorporating a safety plan could be beneficial in avoiding workplace accidents. The Toolbox Talk this week discusses four common occupational injuries and tips on how to prevent them from occurring.
- Slips, Trips, and Falls
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, slips, trips, and falls have led to approximately 700 fatalities in 2020. Injuries can occur by simply not paying attention to your surroundings, falling from a stepladder, or being in a hurry. Good housekeeping practices are the first step in injury prevention. Employers should implement ways to keep employees safe by educating them on recognizing unsafe conditions. Review all working areas to ensure they are kept clear, dry, lighted, and have proper floor matting if necessary.
- Contact with objects and equipment
Employees who operate in a high-risk area are more likely to suffer from a severe injury if there are no proper preventions. Machinery with no proper guarding can present a safety hazard to everyone. The “Struck-by-object” category is one of the leading fatality rates. When a piece of equipment has fallen, swung, or rolled and strikes an employee, it can lead to severe injuries. Other examples include falling debris or material, tipped-over equipment, and poor guarded machinery. Providing personal protective equipment, education about job hazards, and conducting safety assessments can reduce the risk of being struck.
Overextension injuries that cause sprains, strains and tears, are the most common reported by employees. When a person pushes their body beyond its physical limits from pulling, pushing, lifting, gripping, carrying, or throwing an injury transpires. The most common category of overextension are back injuries, which account for every 1 in 5 workplace injury reported. While some workers can recover after a few days’ rest, others can be permanently disabled. Unfortunately, this can cost a company millions of dollars annually in workers compensation. To avoid risks in the workplace, you can enroll in an ergonomics course that will train employees on how to perform physical tasks properly.
- Exposure to harmful substances/ environments
Workers surrounded by harmful substances or loud environments daily could suffer from an injury to their eyes, ears, skin, or respiratory system if they do not have proper protection. Employees must be wearing correct PPE, such as a fitted mask, gloves, and goggles, to avoid direct contact with harmful substances. Common chemical exposures include acids, metals, paint, petroleum, or solvents. It is up to the employer to provide education on each hazardous substance in the workplace, warning labels, and Safety Data Sheets in visible areas. Noise hazards from machinery, industrial or commercial equipment can lead to permanent hearing loss. Equipment such as sound level meters, and noise dosimeters, can measure the noise level in work environments to determine if the noise is within a normal range. Preventative measures include trying to eliminate the noise or invest in proper ear protection such as properly rated earplugs or headphones.
We’re here to help
For more information on preventive measures regarding any of the hazards above feel free to reach out to our team of Certified Safety Professionals at www.unitedsafetypro.com/contact/