Management and Safety
Safety managers can take many paths to ensure the health and safety of their workforce, but it can be challenging to know where to start. In some cases, managers may not report certain safety concerns due to fear of repercussions. This is why it is imperative that, as a leader, you ensure you educate your staff and support them when issues arise. Today, let’s talk about some steps you can take regarding management and safety in the workplace.
According to the International Labor Organization, “2.3 million women and men around the world succumb to work-related accidents or diseases every year; this corresponds to over 6000 deaths every single day. Worldwide, there are around 340 million occupational accidents and 160 million victims of work-related illnesses annually.”
Take Steps to Mitigate Hazards
Find out which hazards are present in your facility with a Job Hazard Analysis and encourage a proactive safety culture with near-miss reporting. A Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) offers a systematic method for assessing specific tasks’ risks and taking steps to mitigate them.
Here are the steps for conducting a Job Hazard Analysis:
- Identify a potentially hazardous task to analyze and correct.
- Research and describe the task.
- Identify the hazards, triggers, and consequences associated with the task.
- Develop a set of controls to improve safety.
Employers should also encourage near-miss reporting whenever a close call could have resulted in injury, illness, or damage. These incidents can prove disastrous when companies don’t take steps toward improving safety. When workers report near-misses and close calls, they find safety concerns before government inspectors, determine their root causes, and catch hidden hazards before they lead to incidents.
Provide Proper Training
Legislation across North America requires that employers provide a safe workplace free of recognized hazards. Goal Zero has several training courses and policies to help employees understand the risks and take steps toward the safest possible work environment. These requirements cover a wide range of industrial safety, from welding and other hot work to using cranes and derricks on a construction site to safely operating forklifts in a warehouse.
Keep Clean and Organized
There are many methods for cleaning and organizing your workplace and establishing routines that increase productivity, efficiency, and revenue. Here’s why cleanliness matters and steps you can take:
Improve efficiency: Create standardized work procedures and establish routines for accomplishing regular tasks.
Increase organization: Discard seldom used and unnecessary tools, and keep essential items in a common area.
Reduce errors: When workers know what to do and how to do it, they are less likely to make errors. Cleaning work areas and removing hazards can help cut the number of slips, trips, and falls.
Establish Lockout/Tagout Procedures
Workers must establish (and follow) a lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedure before performing maintenance or routine upkeep on equipment. Basic LOTO procedure workers should follow to meet legislative requirements for controlling hazardous energy.
Be Ready for the Unexpected
You’ll want to be prepared for a fire or other emergency. Will your workers know what to do if a fire breaks out or the power goes out? Conduct a Fire Risk Assessment to determine hazards and establish an exit route. Develop an Emergency Response Plan (ERP) with formal emergency procedures.
Improve Traffic Flow and Safety with Floor Marking
To ensure a safe work environment, legislation requires maintaining clean work areas. Floor marking can increase warehouse safety through improved organization and efficiency.
Meet OSHA’s Pipe Marking Requirements
WHMIS GHS and other standards (ANSI/ASME) outlines requirements for labelling in case of leaks (including water, acids, and oils). Adequately labelled pipes can assist first responders during emergencies and ensure clear communication. Lines should have colour-coded labels which correspond with the materials inside.
Ensure Workers Have Access to Proper PPE
Employers must ensure workers have access to and are trained in using and maintaining required PPE that protects against workplace hazards. Be sure to conduct a hazard assessment to see which pieces of PPE are required. Communicate these requirements along with location markers by utilizing signs and labels. Provide training on proper PPE use including which PPE to use, when to use the PPE, and what the PPE protects against.
Schedule and Perform Routine Inspections
The key to an enduring culture of safety is following up to ensure those efforts receive the proper follow-through. Safety inspections and audits are two easy ways to inspect equipment and review procedures. Look for safety hazards and unsafe practices throughout a facility with a safety inspection. All levels within the work organization should be included in safety inspections.
Be Visible and Communicate with all Workers in the Facility
No matter the industry, the odds are good. Your workplace contains unidentified hazards. Leadership can’t always be in the field, but they can help with safety with visual communication to alert workers to hazards and offer best practices for staying safe.
Safety begins with leaders, so it is imperative to lead by example in your industry. If you have questions about safety in your workplace, the Goal Zero team is here to help. Contact us today to learn more.