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Preventing Workplace Injuries: Our Top Tips

Heather Lowery - Nov 28, 2017 7:00:00 AM

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Safety on job sites is no laughing matter. Preventing workplace injuries by ensuring employees are up to date on protocols in their work zone is of the utmost importance. Work site accidents are not only scary and dangerous for the affected employees, but they're bad for business. Accidents can lead to everything from expensive worker's compensation claims to lawsuits and fines.

Accidents are bound to happen, however with the right rules and preventative measures you can avoid further mayhem. Keep reading for our top tips on avoiding injuries in your workplace. Whether your workplace is a construction zone or manufacturing warehouse, we have you covered.

Safety Training

Before beginning any new job, employers need to educate their employees on all of the safety guidelines or hazards they might encounter while on the job. Health and safety policies should be fully understood before putting a new employee to work. Set up quizzes to ensure they know the safety materials you're providing them with. Any kind of written safety policy should include the name and location of a first aid responder along with the procedure name. Make sure all employees are knowledgeable on the equipment they will be responsible for handling or operating. If they're not yet qualified they should not attempt to use it.

Safety Crew Meetings

Daily meetings between the crew and superiors should take place to ensure all employees are on the same page. Use of repetition about safety procedures in high-stress aspects of the job is crucial for employees to stay motivated to follow the rules every day.

Protective Clothing/Gear

All workers need the appropriate safety equipment for their position. This type of gear depends on the job at hand. For example, hard hats, reflective clothing, gloves, steel-toes shoes, goggles, protective suits, heavy jackets, wide brim hats (sun protection), long sleeve shirts, etc. Ensure protective clothing or necessary gear are worn at all times during working hours.

Maintain Tools & Equipment

All tools and machinery need a strict inspection schedule. One of the leading causes of workplace injuries is faulty machinery. Workers have gotten stuck or trapped under heavy equipment that wasn't working properly. Any missing parts, insufficient gear, or broken pieces can also cause death or serious injuries. Each time before a worker is going to use a tool or machinery, they need to make sure it's in proper working order, as this will aid in preventing workplace injuries.

Give Breaks

Frequent breaks for employees will reduce fatigue, which can lead to fewer accidents. A foggy head may forget an important step for a machine, or lose their footing on a roof. Taking a few 15-30 minute breaks throughout the day will help their heads stay clear and focused on completing the job safely. Be sure to stay up-to-date on break requirements in your state and industry.

Keep Work Environment Clean

Slips, falls, or trips can easily happen if there's debris lying around. Encourage employees to keep the work space clean, including storing tools, materials, etc. when finished. Any common hallways or walkways should be swept daily to avoid nails or other random objects to cause potential injuries.

Prevent Falls

A leading cause of death in the construction world is due to falls. It's very important to take the necessary precautions in place such as installing guard rails, nets, screens, toe boards, or scaffolding. Make sure scaffolding is inspected daily and held together well enough to support workers.

Monitor Vehicle Safety

Job sites often have a lot of commotion happening around them from large trucks, machinery, and other vehicles driving around. Make sure the operators are driving slow and monitoring any workers nearby. Workers are susceptible to being hit from backing up accidents, being crushed, being pinned between an object and vehicle, or other miscommunications between the driver to worker.

Physical Overexertion

Be keen to the amount of work your employees are putting on their bodies. Repetitive injuries can develop over weeks or months in the back, shoulder, hip and knee specifically. Ensure your workers are healthy and in peak physical condition before hiring. Take into consideration weather as well, since heat stroke, hypothermia, or frostbite can occur in extreme conditions. Enforce regular breaks to give their bodies a break throughout the day to avoid injuries.

Encourage Healthy Diets

Encourage switching soda or energy drinks with water or a sports drink to provide hydration and electrolytes. Provide plenty of water on the work site. Increased hydration equals reduced fatigue and better concentration. Grease-free food such as sandwiches, salad, fruits and veggies will prevent drowsiness and encourage energy. A healthy diet can highly impact the safety and overall functioning of the workplace.

Implementing these 10 tips is a great first step to preventing workplace injuries. Remember to practice a consistent, engaging, and supportive attitude to ensure all of your employees are on board with the safety procedures.

If preventing workplace accidents seems like a lot of work, remember that this one of the many tasks you can outsource to a PEO. For information regarding accident prevention strategies, visit Harbor America today.

Topics: PEO- Construction- Accident Prevention- Safety

Heather Lowery

Heather Lowery

Marketing Administrator at Harbor America

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