To establish the best working conditions, it is critical that you have the best safety measures in place. It is easy to compromise various areas, which could lead to an unsafe working condition. By understanding the various areas which are prone to lack in workplace safety, you will be better equipped to address any issues which you may find. In doing so, your workplace will become a stronger and safer environment for all. Here are a few areas which you may need to improve upon.
Entrances and Exits
Before you focus on the interior of the building, the exterior should be addressed. Specifically, the means of entrance and exits to your facility or place of business. Egresses should be free from clutter to allow for employees and customers to enter and exit without the threat of falling. Emergency exits should have a clear and unhindered pathway. When looking at the workplace safety environment of your parking and entranceways, try to ensure that your mediums and driveways have enough clearance for both the regular sized vehicle as well as larger vehicles. As with the emergency egress, your driving pathways should remain clear of clutter to allow for ambulance and other emergency vehicles to enter the premises with ease.
Office areas can be a place where clutter can lead to an unsafe working space. This is especially true where memos and procedural paper organization is stored. File cabinets as well as digital backups should be used for records and for instruction manuals. But there is an issue which may occur from using file cabinets. Records may take up substantial space. Outdated records should be stored in a storage unit, keeping only the most relevant data available. Record storage when coupled with digital record keeping, the office space will be free from clutter and offer a safer place for workers.
Do not rush your intake
There is a huge shortage of workers this year. As businesses struggle to find workers, the trend is to get the bodies in the door and then train them quickly. But this is a huge safety risk. If the employees do not have the proper training then the probability for user error increases. Because of this, there could be a defect in the product or in workplace safety.
Make sure that you have a safety and training manual in place for all intake. Then keep to the manual and train all new employees in the safety standards of the workplace. These measures should never be compromised. Set a high standard of safety and train your employees in the safety regulations and you will have a safer workplace.
Check and double check
Safety in the workplace requires you to have a constant check on things. What may have been fine one day could change the next. For the best working environment, you should have a health and safety engineer inspect the premises on at least a quarterly basis. If possible, have an onsite manager whose role also includes keeping an eye on the safety of the facility. Of course, you should instill a sense of safety when performing your training of all workers. Check and double check to ensure that all workplace areas are practicing and fulfilling the safety needs of your business.
Have safety procedures posted in an area where all employees and clients can access them. Avoid placing safety notices on bulletin boards and highly congested areas as they could be overlooked. All safety documentation should be in their own dedicated space. Double check that your safety documents are current and that they are being followed regularly.
Have safety equipment ready
Depending upon the type of business that you own, you may require safety equipment. Such is the case for welding shops, where eyeglasses and protection would be used. Construction sites should have safety glasses and hardhats. Some facilities may require safety vest so that they are easily seen. Forklifts should have signals and alarms to reduce the risk of injury.
Sites which are not considered to be high risk safety areas still require safety equipment. For example, if you have a brick-and-mortar business offering services, you will still need to have fire extinguishers and smoke detectors. Emergency exits will still need to be properly lit. Ensure that all safety equipment is readily available and ready for use. With smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, the batteries on the units should be changed according to the manufacturer’s suggestions.
Eliminate clutter and seasonal supplies
In order to maximize the safety of your space, declutter any materials and supplies which are not in use. This does not mean that you must get rid of the materials. However, facilities should not just have excess laying around. This could cause multiple problems. First, when material sits in an unappropriated storage method, the integrity of the material is compromised. This effects the overall product which is being provided to the customer. In turn, this raises the risk that there will be problems with the product. For example, if you are building a house and the lumber sits on the ground, it could cause warping of the wood or weakening of it. This could weaken the stability of the wall causing damage to the overall structure.
Second, when there is an increase of material stored in an area, the workplace safety is compromised because it increases the risk that someone will bump into it, that it will fall, or that other risks will ensue. To minimize the risks associated with having too much material consider using a storage supply unit for seasonal supplies and for materials. Storage units are available in both outdoor as well as indoor climate-controlled units.
Workplace safety is a combination of having methods in place which can be observed to lower the risk of injury, having the proper equipment available to minimize the risk of injury, and prevention of damage or harm. It is not the responsibility of one person to ensure workplace safety, but the accumulation of all employees and management.