We understand that as an employer you care about the safety of your workers. Workplaces can present employees with danger on a regular basis if they are not prepared and planning for safety. While some work places present more dangers to workers than others–the construction industry accounts for more job related fatalities, 22%, than any other industry–every workplace needs to think about safety.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration oversees on-the-job safety on a national level. Locally the Industrial Commission of Arizona is the governing body that actually inspects our businesses and enforces national and local laws. Arizona is the only state with an independent group that performs inspections and enforces regulation. While their main offices are in Phoenix and Tucson, we all know that they have a presence throughout the entire state. They are responsible for evaluating workplaces. You may have been subject to an inspection in the past. They concentrate inspections on businesses that operate in industries that are traditionally and statistically considered to be more dangerous than others. Outside of those industries they target businesses that they feel have a high number of workers’ compensation claims. Their inspection will ensure that you are in compliance and will help you get on the right track if need be. (This link will lead you to printable versions of safety posters that you need to display in your business–we must all focus on compliance)
How Do I Increase On-the-Job Safety?
The best way to maintain a safe work place and limit employee accidents is to plan to be safe. There are many factors that you should consider. Begin by focusing on:
- Employee training and education- It is vital to make your employees aware of the dangers that may be present in their work place. Every industry is different; however everyone can benefit from training.
- Fully train staff who use heavy equipment or even lighter duty equipment that may be able to cause injury.
- Don’t just focus on new staff. Have follow-up safety training sessions at least annually to stress how important it is.
- Stress the importance of safety equipment–whether it is eye protection on a construction site or cut gloves in a kitchen–to every employee and make safety equipment readily available.
- Workplace design- The physical layout of your business can have a lot to do with safety. Organize your work environment so that it accommodates safety and accommodates back-up plans in the event of an accident. OSHA mandates that any general industry employer incorporate:
- Hazard communication standards that inform employees of chemicals in the workplace. If you have dangerous chemicals around, you are required to have a written Hazard Communication program, among other compliance necessities.
- An emergency action plan that tells your employees what specific actions they must take in the event of a fire or other accident or emergency. You will communicate this to your staff during training sessions.
- A plan for exit routes. Decide upon the safest way for employees to file out of the building. Post the plan in writing and communicate it verbally.
- Safe walking/working surfaces. Slips and falls account for more on-the-job injuries than any other type of accident. Use non-slippery surfaces to cover floors and keep them clean, dry and clear of clutter that might cause a fall.
- Medical and first aid supplies and planning are a must. The extent of the supplies you must have on hand depends upon your specific industry, but everyone needs a general first aid kit and easy access to a telephone to alert emergency services. It might also be helpful to officially assign one or several employees the responsibility of contacting emergency services and helping injured staff until they arrive.
Hopefully you are accident free. Nothing bothers an employer more than knowing that their staff has been injured on the job. If you would like to bring on some staff who have already completed some general safety training, visit us online and find out more about what we can offer.