Injuries in the workplace account for decreased worker productivity, increased absences and increased medical costs. It makes sense of a business establishment to ensure that the work environment is safe for its employees.
Here’s how to prevent workplace injuries.
- Place proper warning signs at high risk areas. For example, make sure to cord off floor areas that are wet to avoid slipping. There should ample signage for high voltage areas, and other high risk areas such as slippery floors, stairwells, radiation exposure and so on.
- Install anti slip grips on stairwells to avoid falls. Make sure there is a banister for people to hold on to. High traffic areas should be covered with an anti slip mat, especially during the rainy season, to reduce the risk of slipping.
- Train employees properly. Most accidents come from improper handling of equipment and machinery. Reduce the amount of human error by making sure that employees are properly trained to handle the machinery they will work with.
- Make sure your employees have the proper equipment and proper safety gear to do their work. If a worker will be doing heavy lifting, make sure he is wearing a safety belt or back brace and his hands are protected with gloves. Provide a dolly to carry and move around heavy boxes. If the employee will work with loud machinery or in a loud and noisy environment, he should have the proper earplugs to muffle the sound.
- Make sure that equipment and machinery is properly working. For example, kitchen workers should always have sharp knives to reduce effort and the risk of injury due to undue pressure.
- Have stable and secure ladders and step stools accessible for workers to reach high places. For example, if you have a filing room, there should be a way for employees to reach the high shelves without having to tiptoe.
- Have ergonomically correct work stations for people who work at their desk. Employees who sit for long periods at their desk should have a good ergonomic chair, which allows their arms and legs to rest at a ninety degree angle. The screen should be low glare and not be placed too high to avoid eye and neck strain. A mouse pad with wrist rest can help reduce the risk of carpel tunnel.
- Give headphones or phone cradles to employees who work on the phones constantly, such as phone operators and call center agents. Having to cradle the handle of the phone between the ear and shoulder will cause neck strain.
- Train your employees to be aware of workplace safety. Safety guidelines and policies should be posted in a common workplace area, such as the employee lounge and in the employee handbook. If you have multilingual employees, they should also be trained with the proper handling of equipment and procedures to reduce human error.
- Establish a set procedure for handling workplace injuries. The accident should be reported immediately to an assigned supervisor. There should be a written report made and steps made by management to correct the problem. If medical attention is necessary, there should be first aid provided or the employee should be brought to the emergency room for medical treatment.
Make sure that your office complies with the standards set by the Occupational Safety Health Administration at osha.gov.