Workplace safety can appear very daunting for many employers. Creating a safe work environment for workers is not only morally right, but also a legal right in this country. There are many important tools available to ensure that all of the necessary precautions are taken to avoid and reduce accidents in the workplace.
1. Hazard Assessment/Job Safety Analysis (JSA)
Hazard assessment or job safety analysis (JSA) helps identify potential safety risks in the workplace and what measures should be taken to avoid these hazards.
2. Implementing controls at work stations
Implementing safety controls and devices to work stations based on the findings of your JSA will reduce the occurrence of workplace accidents. This includes built-in safety devices, such as a chemical eyewash station, or requiring employees to wear hard hats and protective eye wear on the job. This year alone, 78% of eye injuries were due to a lack of protective eye wear.
3. Provide proper safety training to employees.
View training as an investment. The better the training your employees receive, the less likely an incident will occur. Many employers forgo educating their workers on topics that could potential save them thousands in workers’ compensation claims and lawsuits.
Today there are more choices than ever when it comes to safety training. Many employers think the only option is the traditional classroom setting, but thanks to technology – online training is the quickest, easiest, cheapest and most environmentally conscious choice. Many online safety training companies offer their own tracking systems to alleviate the administrative burden from employers and some offer free courses (www.safetyskills.com) or trials. But always make sure that your training provider is IACET certified and has the proper credentials.
Whatever type of training is chosen, setting high standards of training completion on employees is crucial and any incidents of negligence by an employee should be deemed unacceptable. This ensures your financial security as a company, as well as the safety of all of your workers.
4. Staying current.
Keeping up with the latest guidelines and trends in safety is very time consuming, but necessary. OSHA sets the standard in safety. If an employer doesn’t have time for this task, finding a training provider that does is the best route to take.
It is also important to pay attention to any news coverage about emerging workplace safety issues. For instance, incidents of Heat Stress have become more and more common resulting in heat-related illness and death. Providing training on Heat Stress is a new trend that is becoming necessary, especially for those who work outdoors.
Besides training, all gear and equipment should be regularly maintenance and replaced when it becomes outdated or a potential hazard. This is another topic that has been in newsstands across the country due to the recent metro tragedy in Washington, D.C. It was reported that the metro train that crashed needed to be replaced for a newer model, which would have saved the lives of many.
5. Refresher courses.
Like any student who finishes a class, sometimes a refresher course is needed down the road. Issues in safety are constantly changing because our technology keeps advancing. This also means that with new advancements means new problems. Giving refresher courses every year is a great way to reduce the likelihood of workplace accidents.