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Despite the best of efforts by a majority employees, millions of workers get injured in places of work every year. A greater percentage of these personal injuries are caused as a result of human error, and they can be avoided. Personal injuries that happen at the workplace cause direct costs to businesses. The cost associated with incurred personal injury is numerous and include medical expenses, legal services, and worker’s compensation insurance. Personal injury also result in indirect costs in the replacement of employees, equipment repairs, accident investigation and a loss in productivity.
The following easy to follow tips can assist in creating a safe working environment and assist in injury prevention.
Communication is essential in improving safety operations at the workplace. Communication is an important tool in preventing personal injuries occurring at the workplace. Ensure that safety procedures are communicated and known by all employees. Employees should encourage co-workers and senior supervisors about the potential of hazardous situations. Conducting routine safety training should be mandatory for all organisational members. Instructions concerning safety handling of dangerous equipment like safety lock-down for heavy machinery and chemical handling procedures should be clearly displayed at the applicable work areas.
Keep the workplace clean at all times and at all places. A sense of order and organisation is crucial to avoiding accidents and injuries. Spills should be cleaned as fast as possible from the floor. Electrical cords should not be left to run across floors and walls without safety enclosure. Equipment of all kinds should not be left to litter the walkways but should instead be tightly secured in safety boxes. Ice and snow should be cleared from parking lots and in other areas within the perimeter of the vicinity.
Workplaces should be designed using ergonomic principles. This avoids long-term injury by use of repetitive movements. Some positions and movements can cause injury over the long term due to strain when repeated severally.
In warehouses and file rooms, stacking of heavy items on high shelves should be avoided at all costs. Such items have the potential to become unstable and fall on people which can be very dangerous. Cumbersome and unstable items on high shelves can topple over. Top drawers of file cabinets may also fall over when an upper drawer is pulled out.
It is still better to prevent the occurrence of an accident than mitigate its effects once it happens. A workplace safety and wellness plan is therefore of extreme necessity for a foundation of a safe work environment. The wellness and safety plan covers all levels of employee safety and health by encouraging them to report hazardous practices and behaviour.
Pre-employment screenings should be conducted on all new employees in a facility to ensure safety. A considerable number of accidents occur due to the inexperience and inability to perform a function in an area of responsibility and duty. Pre-employment screening is a safeguard for placement of capable employees.
Finally, cultivate a culture of safety. Emphasise that ignoring safety procedures does not save time or money; it instead endangers the lives of employees.