The 3 Best Tips on How to Create a Safe Workplace
How to create a safe workplace
Who is responsible for the safety of the workers?
It’s an employer’s responsibility to provide a safe work environment. But everyone can play a role in creating a safer workplace. We spoke with Regional Safety Manager Tom Saylor who specializes in educating companies and workers about the importance of building safety. He gives the 3 most important tips on how to create a safe workplace.
Heat Illness Prevention
Maintaining a comfortable temperature in a manufacturing facility or warehouse is difficult — especially in the warmer months. These facilities often have issues with high temperatures, humidity and air filtration which can lead to major health risks in working environments without climate control. Practicing heat illness prevention best practices is an essential part of working in a manufacturing facility or warehouse.
Working long hours in a hot building can be hazardous to an employee’s health, putting an even greater importance on heat illness prevention tactics. Saylor recommends that workers know how to prevent heat illness - get adequate fluids, dress appropriately for their working conditions and stay aware of the factors that could lead to heat illness. He also stresses that proper rest and adjusting your diet to include smaller, healthier meals is important for heat illness prevention
Tom says the best heat illness prevention tactics involve using the OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool App to monitor the heat index and stay aware of potential health dangers. It’s a free app that improves the awareness of heat conditions, types of heat illnesses and their symptoms. It even provides first aid measures to take when you have heat illness and is available in Spanish.
Learn more about how to prevent heat illness and stay cool on the job.
Learn how to prevent slips, trips and falls in the workplace
Warehouses and manufacturing buildings are busy workplaces. Workers must walk quickly around the jobsite to keep up with production. This fast-paced working environment can mean that not enough attention is being paid to housekeeping and unkempt working spaces can result in a slip, trip or fall.
“Recognize tripping hazards like broken pallets, shrink wrap, packaging bands and other materials that find their way to the floor when everyone is busy,” says Saylor.
Recognizing the hazard is the first step. Reporting or eliminating the hazard should be the next step depending on your company’s safety guidelines.
Cleaning up packaging material or cardboard is an easy task but cleaning up spills can present unique challenges. Spilled liquids are often harder to detect and slips are the second-highest reason for workplace fatalities. If the spill involves chemicals, be mindful of the company’s procedures before acting independently.
“Recognize the procedures for addressing spills and avoid the ‘it’s someone else’s job mentality’. If it’s an easy cleanup like water, take pride in yourself and your workplace and show off your initiative to help others and keep the working environment running efficiently,” says Saylor
Know the evacuation procedures
Companies have fire drills and provide maps that outline emergency evacuation routes in the facility for the worker’s benefit.
“Fire is one of the greatest threats in the workplace. Knowing your evacuation procedures can help you escape a deadly situation,” says Saylor.
Evacuation procedures aren’t just for fires. Natural disasters or domestic threats are also why companies have identified the routes workers should use to safely leave the building if an emergency arises.
“When I think about building safety, I would say overall awareness of your surroundings at all times is important. Awareness of the weather, awareness of the rules. It comes down to being aware and engaged with your surroundings,” says Saylor.
Learn how to create a safe workplace
It’s always smart to take some time and consider how to create a safer environment at work. Avoiding heat illness, knowing the evacuation procedure and timely housekeeping can help you and your coworkers stay safe at work.