Follow these proven tips to avoid an accident in your place of work
Recent statistics indicate the importance of safety in the workplace. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 2.8 million employees suffered an injury while at work in 2018. Of the reported injuries, 5,250 resulted in a fatality.
The National Safety Council reports that the occupations where workplace injuries are most likely to occur include:
- Public service
- Transportation and shipping
- Manufacturing and production
- Installation, maintenance, and repair
There are many ways in which employees can keep themselves and their coworkers safer at their place of employment.
Employee workplace safety tips
It’s not strictly the responsibility of the company or employer to provide a safe workspace. It’s also the job of the employee to do everything within their power to follow safety protocols and avoid getting hurt.
Workers should implement these daily workplace safety tips:
Report hazards. When you see something, say something! If you encounter a situation that has the potential for causing harm, report the incident to a supervisor or the employer. Supervisors and employers have a legal responsibility to keep employees safe by remedying the problem. If they fail to do so, consider reporting the unsafe working conditions to authorities.
Use equipment, machines, and tools properly. Misuse remains one of the leading causes of injury in the workplace. Employees and supervisors alike must ensure that all work-related items are regularly cleaned and maintained to prevent malfunction.
Use safety equipment. The operation of certain machines calls for wearing safety equipment, known as personal protective equipment (or PPE). Industries dealing with hazardous waste also typically require that employees wear safety gear. Employees should adhere to the standards established by their employer and industry to prevent possible injury or illness.
Prevent potential accidents. Falls, slips, or trips remain the second most common reason for workplace injuries. Walking paths and work areas should be kept free of obstacles and spills. In the event of a spill, handle the problem immediately in order to prevent a potential hazard.
Keep emergency exits and work areas clear. In the event of a fire, toxic spill or explosion, employees need to have the ability to leave the area immediately. If exits are blocked by obstacles, people may become trapped. Cluttered work areas may prevent employees from using equipment, machines, or tools properly, which could lead to injury.
Prevent fire hazards. When working with materials that have a high risk of combustion, make sure to keep them far from ignition sources. Store flammable chemicals or other materials in designated containers. When using electrical equipment, ensure that the area is free of combustible materials.
Stack inventory properly. Stack boxes in straight lines horizontally and vertically. Make sure that heavier items are on the bottom of the stack. Use boards, nets, or rails to prevent items from toppling over.
Use correct body mechanics. Back injuries commonly occur when someone attempts to lift an object with their back instead of using their legs. Employees should avoid bending over or twisting to lift. Make use of available mechanical equipment and tools for heavy lifting.
Take a break. Injuries have a greater potential of occurring when an employee insists on continuing to work to meet a deadline. This work tactic often causes fatigue, which leaves them more susceptible to injury.
Learn how the workers’ compensation system has helped advance workers’ rights and create safer work environments across the U.S.
Employer workplace safety tips
Companies and employers who implement safety measures keep their employees healthy, which reduces production loss. There are many different strategies that employers must consider in order to ensure health and safety in the workplace.
Here are a few suggestions:
Establish emergency and disaster plans. Businesses are better able to handle emergencies and disasters when they have a plan in place. Practice safety drills. Keep first-aid kits filled with necessary supplies. Have emergency food and water on hand.
Provide first-aid training. Consider having first responders provide first-aid and CPR training for employees so that they can be prepared for any potential emergencies that might occur on the job. Special training may be needed in the event that the facility deals with hazardous materials or equipment.
Offer routine employee education. Employers should have safety workshops monthly or quarterly to keep safety standards at the forefront of employees’ minds. Discuss potential dangers and the strategies that must be implemented at the time. Train new employees to ensure they use equipment, machinery, and tools properly.
Form a safety committee. Supervisors and managers who are responsible for a large number of employees might consider establishing a safety task force composed of interested team members. They will likely have firsthand information on areas that may need attention in order to ensure safety.
Conduct surveys. Employers or safety committees might encourage all employees to take anonymous safety surveys periodically. Questions may include the effectiveness of training along with the effectiveness of reporting hazardous problems. You might also include an area on the form where employees can anonymously offer suggestions for improvement.
Label hazardous areas. Signage must be properly posted to warn employees that certain areas or materials pose a potential risk. Companies should also have a manual on-hand that documents all of the materials used in the facility (including chemical makeup) and emergency procedures in the event of a mishap.
When to consult a Georgia workers’ compensation attorney
In the event of a job-related accident, injury, or illness, the afflicted employee should be entitled to workers’ compensation in Georgia. However, sometimes, the insurance company may resist paying the employee part or all of the compensation that they deserve.
Our attorneys are experienced in workers’ compensation law and we will guide you through the legal process to ensure your rights are protected. We can help secure your workers’ compensation benefits more effectively and efficiently.