7 Common Workplace Safety Hazards
As a business owner or manager, ensuring that your company is a safe place to work helps keep employee morale high, as well as maintains a clean company safety record.
Here are seven of the most common Workplace Safety Hazards that business owners of all sizes should address if they witness these infractions taking place on their premises.
Misuse or Nonuse of Safety Equipment - Safety should always be a primary focus of every business operation. Depending on the industry you're in, safety requirements can range from wearing protective eyewear and earplugs to making sure that your security cameras are all functioning correctly.
By enforcing the use of safety equipment in your business dealings, you're taking the right steps to stay on the right side of the law, while providing a more secure place to work. Further, failure to follow all applicable safety rules and requirements could result in costly fines and penalties from OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration.)
Insufficient Training - In skilled trades, such as technology, manufacturing, and construction, assigning a person who isn't sufficiently trained for the job puts your employees–and your company–at risk. By making sure that every new employee either has the requisite skills and experience, in addition to thorough job training, you're taking steps to decrease the likelihood of technical mistakes and on the job injuries.
When employees get hurt on the job, this unfortunate event can cost a lot of money by way of Workmen's Compensation, and possible fines and penalties getting assessed by OSHA. It is always worth taking the extra time to confirm that new employees have undergone all aspects of your orientation and training before leaving them on their own to work independently.
Inadequate Lighting - It goes without saying that poor lighting can contribute to many types of safety hazards. When a work environment isn't well lit, employees and guests could get injured due to trips and falls or eyestrain from not having enough light available to see. By keeping all areas of your business well lit, you increase the safety standards across the board.
Wet Floors - Wet floors invariably present safety hazards within the workplace. To keep visitors, guests, and employees safe from slips and falls, putting "Wet Floor" Warning Signs in the areas that are wet warns people to take extra care when walking through or to avoid the area that's wet.
The use of slip-proof rugs and door mats to absorb water and snow are another way to prevent slips and falls in your workplace. According to reports from OSHA, over 17% of disabling occupational injuries are the result of falls. The majority of these falls were preventable.
Not Enough Clearance - In industrial and manufacturing workplaces, it's critical that there's enough space overhead for machine operators or workers to maneuver safely. By doing so, you're taking the steps necessary to assure that an industrial accident doesn't happen on your watch.
Inadequate Security Protocols in Place - If you operate a retail business that opens early in the morning, stays open until late at night, or is open 24 hours a day, you already understand some of the risks and dangers associated with running this type of business. When fewer people are out, this presents opportunities for theft, burglaries, and employee misconduct.
By installing a commercial security system that includes everything from wireless security cameras in prominent locations such as near the entry doors, behind the cashier counter, in "blind spots" like far corners, and on the exterior of the building to monitor activities in the parking lot or at gas pumps, if something bad occurs, security footage will document the incident accurately and can be used to help identify suspects in the crime.
Installing access controls, including a keypad or keyless entry system, helps keep unauthorized personnel from gaining entry to private offices and secure storage areas, thus preventing wrongful entrance to these spaces.
Employee Theft or Misconduct - When theft or misconduct occurs at your business, you lose profitability and risk your business' reputation. Further, in cases of employee misconduct, your company could be in danger of potential lawsuits for sexual harassment or other infractions. The use of security cameras and systems throughout your business helps managers and owners monitor activity to reduce the chances of theft, misconduct, and workplace violence.
The best bet for business owners of all sizes is to address these workplace safety hazards and then take proactive corrective steps to prevent them from becoming an issue or an ongoing concern.
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