Today, Workplaces are comparatively safe than that of centuries ago because of stress given on to avoid “General Safety Mistakes.” This is due to the increased awareness in employers for workplace safety and the best interests of their employees. Also, the fact is that a safe workplace is a more profitable workplace.
Keeping your workplace safe can be a tough task. Innumerable regulations are there for the best practices to follow, it is often difficult to decide what will actually work best in your specific system.
Most of the ‘General Safety Mistakes’ are happened due to ignorance and avoidance of important safety measures by management or workers and sometimes by both.
General Safety Mistakes by System management
- Treating Education as Optional / Only Initial Training
One of the biggest workplace safety mistakes a facility can make is treating safety education as an optional requirement. Safety Training doesn’t provide any immediate monetary return while its long-term benefits are incalculable. Safety education must be a priority to avoid accidents and other safety mistakes in the future. Lack of proper training could lead to risks in the future.
It is mandatory for an organization, when it hires someone, they must provide them with the high quality safety training need to do their job properly and safely. Regular refresher classes or courses can help to keep everyone focused on their tasks.
- Lack Of Apparent / Clear Communication
People from various levels work together in organizations; trained , untrained, well qualified, less qualified, not knowing local languages etc. The safety instructions will need to be understood and followed by everyone, they should be short and to the point and in line with common sense. People won’t have difficulty understanding what they are doing and why.
- Inadequate Maintenance & Inspections of Machinery
Certain things are not meant to be postponed to a later date, and workplace safety is one of them. Many companies avoid or ignore regular machine inspections and maintenance as the requirement of keeping machines on and operating at 24 x 7. It will save time and money at first, but in reality it will do neither. This can cause machines to breakdown unexpectedly and can put all the people who work with or around it at risk.
Make sure you have the general maintenance requirements of each machine well documented so that nothing is missed. Regular inspections will help to avoid future problems. Machines must be regularly inspected and cleaned.
- Insufficient Emergency Equipment
While installing a safety system, they should search out areas for specific risks, and make certain that the proper and adequate emergency equipments are located nearby.
Workplaces may need a set including the number of fire extinguishers or emergency eye wash stations in the facility.
Never comply with just the minimums it can lead to major problems.
- Lack Of Emergency Exit Path
Every organization must have all the exits clearly marked with an easy to read and illuminated signs. Emergency Exit Paths should be installed with lights. During a hustle bustle of emergency, it might be difficult to locate the exits due to large machines and the extensive floor space. Some sort of floor / wall markings that always point people toward the nearest exit should be there.
Frequent evacuation drills help employees, to ensure everyone knows exactly where they should go.
General Safety Mistakes by Workers
- Improper Use Proper Personal Protective Equipment
Use of personal protective equipment is one of the most crucial and prevalent mode used to improve safety. Unfortunately, many employees either do not use the PPE properly or completely don’t use it. This results in exposure to the risk not only for themselves but for everyone around them.
This mistake could have been avoided by making it mandatory to wear proper PPEs.
- Use of the Wrong Tool for the Task
At workplaces, specific task needs to be done with specific type of tools. Using the right tool is the most efficient and the safest way to get it done. Taking shortcuts by using whatever tool you have at the time, you are increasing the risk of an incident to occur. Each tool has a specific purpose to perform job properly. However, people will be tempted to take a workplace safety shortcut by using a tool they have nearby.
Always make sure the right tools are available for particular jobs, also employees should know how to use them efficiently.
- Improper Handling of Hazardous Materials
It is very often to have hazardous materials used for different production facilities. These materials need to be stored and handled very carefully to avoid the risk of a spill or other accident. Their containers must be properly labelled with clear indications of their use and their handling.
This will make an accident much less likely. However, everyone will know what to do based on the information provided.
- Content Spilled / Obstacles Lying On The Floor
It is general tendency that often when we see something lying on the floor, we tend to ignore it. At times, there might be some of liquid spilled on the floor which might go unnoticed. So cleaning team must ensure that the floor is cleaned every few hours preventing any trip or slip accidents.
If it is something that is easily movable and could possibly cause someone to trip or fall, move it out of the way. Or ask the concerned person to get it removed.
- Incorrect Posture
Posture plays an important role in case of both types of working people either in the field or in offices.
The most common problem that people face in corporate offices is back, neck and eye related complaints. Constantly sitting in front of the laptop causes eye strain, leading to vision related problems. People hardly follow ideal postures rules, which eventually affect them in the long run.
To ensure that employees are maintaining the right posture while working, you can roll out emails / posters and instructions emphasizing the importance of correct posture and the health problems that it could avoid.
- Careless Use Of Ladders
One of the most common and most dangerous workplace safety mistakes is careless use of ladders.
Many devastating ladder-related mistakes at the workplace such as:
use of unsteady ladders, leaning from ladders, using objects as a ladder or climbing too high on ladders tend to cause serious injuries.
General Safety Mistakes by Both Management & Employees
- Ignoring ‘Near Misses’ / Neglecting Minor Events
Near Misses are those incidents when if something had happened just a little differently, it would have resulted in a serious injury or even fatality.
For every actual accident or injury, however minor it is, there is often something went wrong though nobody was hurt. It is the common tendency to ignore such events, as they didn’t cause a disruption of work. To ensure they don’t occur again you should always investigate them completely. Minor events could lead to something major someday.
“Today’s ‘near miss’s is tomorrow’s accident if it is not prevented.”
Taking Safety Shortcuts
One way to get things done faster, often used is to apply shortcuts. Many of these types of shortcuts actually reduce the overall safety of the facility, or cause risk to the individual who is taking them. While taking such shortcuts, you should evaluate whether or not the reduced time or efforts results in any unexpected hazardous situation.
You should carefully assess any safety shortcuts that people are taking are really providing with true benefits. If not, they should be eliminated to keep everyone safe.
- Neglecting Cleaning & Proper Organizing In The Facility
One of the most common workplace safety mistakes people make is to consider cleaning and organizing the area, as a waste of time.
A clean and organized workplace helps to keep tools and equipment in good condition. A messy work area has high potential for an increased risk of tripping and other accidents.
There are often many areas that need to be properly cleaned than just sweeping up messes or cleaning up spills. Dust, dirt, grease and other things can build up on the safety signs, making them very difficult to read. Since they aren’t on the floor, cleaning them is often neglected for months at a time, which can cause significant risks.
Every organization must appoint an efficient Cleaning Team as well as responsible House Keeping Team.
- Applying The Wrong Safety Labels Stock
It is highly advised to hire ‘an industrial label maker’ right on site as using safety labels is one of the best ways to convey information. While making labels, make sure you are using the proper type of label stock at all times, based on where the label will be placed.
Places where special label stock is necessary:
- High Temperature Locations
- Cold Temperature Locations.
- Oily or Greasy Locations
- Wet or High Humidity Locations
Use of one type of labelling stock is a workplace safety shortcut. It will dramatically reduce the life of the labels, which exposes people to the risk.
- Workplace Stress
Work-related problems often affect an employee’s mental health giving rise to stress which leads to many health problems. Workplace stress is usually caused due to long working hours, conflicts with coworkers or managers, too much work pressure etc.
Workplace stress also demotivates employees, resulting in high turnovers.
You must encourage employees to come forth and explain the HR or managers about work-related stress, if any. If you cannot provide an immediate solution to their problem, convince them that you will solve the issue as soon as possible.
Maintaining a balanced work environment helps to keep your employees happy and stress free.
Accidents can happen anywhere and anytime in spite of the best safety programs in place. Undertaking certain strategic measures can prevent these workplace injuries and illnesses.
These are only few of the more General safety mistakes at workplace. To inspect how smoothly your facility is running and taking steps to rectify any mistake is worth the effort. Find out the problems that your employees are facing and based on it you can design an effective plan to eradicate those problems. Simple measures such as being alert and aware of potential danger can help maintain workplace safety.
Above all avoiding even one serious accident or injury can pay huge benefits for your organization and confidence of your employees.
To make your workforce and environment mistakes free, obtain more knowledge around the health and safety topic, join us at email@example.com or visit our website www.keneducation.in or call on +917569034271