Numerous health and safety hazards can be prevented and in order to eliminate the possibility of these situations from occurring a business can implement the following general safety rules.
In many businesses health and safety is a main priority implemented to ensure the wellbeing of employees, assets and those who come into contact with the company.
With the goal of providing a safe working environment for occupational health and safety bodies have developed a set of safety legislations in order to address work processes and situations that may result in health and safety risks.
Poor health and safety can also affect a business in many ways such as decreasing productivity, lowering employee morale and leading to a reduction in the quality of the product or service rendered.
General Safety Rules:
1. Maintain OSHA compliance
Often considered the most important first step in creating a safe working environment, maintaining OSHA compliance will set the groundwork for health and safety and a smoother adoption rate for the tips that follow.
OSHA is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, their main responsibility is to ensure businesses comply with their health and safety standards, this is achieved through inspections.
Gaining the expertise of an occupational health and safety officer to inspect a business workplace and provide a report on the possible hazards is an effective way of maintaining compliance. While this may not be feasible for certain small and medium enterprises implementing an occupational health and safety solution, such as Safety Assure, can be a viable alternative. With functions suited to maintaining OSHA compliance such as incident Management that streamlines the logging and reporting of incidents. With the Knowledge Base feature businesses can be certain that all their employees have access to health and safety material through a mobile and cloud-based platform, a key function as an understanding of safety standards and compliance requirements will assist in reducing violations from occurring.
2. Introduce a safety culture into the workplace
The responsibility of safety must be shared by all, from the leadership who implements the safety regulations to the employees who must follow the rules and regulations. When a business creates a culture of safety and employees take responsibility for their own actions then the business as a whole will benefit from an increase in the health and safety standard.
3. Wear appropriate clothing and protective equipment when necessary
It is a common misconception that personal protective equipment is reserved for high-risk occupations however this is not always the case. Wearing clothing or a uniform that adequately covers an employee’s arms and legs, avoiding excessive loose hanging jewelry and inappropriate shoes can minimize the risk of an injury within a corporate workspace.
Within high risk industries personal protective equipment, such as helmets, must be worn at all times. This equipment will be provided by the company. It is important to note that equipment inspections must be conducted regularly, in cases where the equipment is damaged it must be repaired or replaced.
4. Follow the health and safety rules
Workplace health and safety rules are usually created as a response to past incidents, they are designed to eliminate the possibility of hazardous situations from occurring again. Taking unnecessary risks or intentionally violating these rules can be extremely dangerous and result in an injury or fatality.
5. Keep the workspace neat
It is often the small changes made that yield great results. Cleaning a workspace before and after employee shifts will ensure that the employees will not be vulnerable to certain slips and tripping hazards such as loose cables or office supplies.
6. Report incidents and injuries
According to the OSHA in order for a business to remain compliant all employees’ illnesses must be logged and recorded while injuries must be reported within 24 hours and deaths reported within 8.
While this time frame has been implemented from a compliance perspective the sooner an incident is reported the quicker the employee can be attended to and the hazard corrected.
7. Be aware of ergonomic hazards
Ergonomic hazards can be found in all work environments, from repetitive movements conducted on a construction site to uncomfortable work stations within offices, these hazards can result in painful injuries. Taking a moment throughout the day to stretch can relieve an employee’s tension however it is important that employees are not put under a lot of strain through physically demanding activities or due to poorly set up workstations.
8. Reduce workplace fatigue
Workplace fatigue is characterized as mental or physical exhaustion experienced by an employee, the results of which can be serious. While the source of fatigue is difficult to pinpoint, spotting the symptoms, such as excessive yawning or a lack of concentration, within the workplace will be beneficial to the employee when implementing corrective measures.
Ensuring employees are well rested not only results in a higher productivity rate but ensures that employees are aware and alert. Situational awareness contributes to workplace safety as employees are not susceptible to easily avoidable mistakes however this cannot be achieved with workplace fatigue.
The eight rules mentioned above can be implemented in all sectors as general rules for health and safety and businesses can enjoy higher productivity, less injury and illness and reach its ultimate potential.