Everyone should expect their workplace to be safe for them. That is not always the case. It doesn't matter if the company has 10 employees or 100 employees or more, they should be following OSHA guidelines for worker safety, implementing industrial safety solutions, and taking preventative measures to prevent workplace accidents and injuries. These steps will foster a safe, healthy work environment and more productive employees.
How Do Company Owners Make Their Workplaces Safer?
It is not always easy for business owners to comply with OSHA safety regulations. They may not know where the safety hazards are in their workplace. Complying with industrial safety solutions should start with a professional safety evaluation. This evaluation should identify safety risk areas and provide advice on risk reduction measures to take. Dynatect is a company that helps customers comply with OSHA safety requirements and citations. Some of the safety equipment they provide includes physical barriers, machine safety controls, and torque limiters.
Some Areas of Safety Solutions Hazards to be Addressed Include:
Machine Safety Controls
Automatic controls or actuators for horizontally opening machine doors
Equipment such as doors that separate a hazardous process from other equipment and workers
Additional safety equipment that keeps hazardous machinery and workers separated
Fall protection and Dangerous Openings
Many large and dangerous machines are located at least partly below floor level. This creates hazardous pits that workers may fall into without proper precautions. This danger can be limited by installing metal roll-up, walk-on covers.
Controlling Hazardous Tank Fumes
There are chemical tank covers that control the heat and evaporation of dangerous fumes into the workplace. They are corrosion-resistant and roll up as needed.
Hands and Arm Protection
There are safety switches and mechanical slip clutches to make for safer machine operation and ensure safety solutions are in place.
Isolating Pinch Points
Equipment such as scissor lift mechanisms, tilt tables, and other equipment can cause sources of pinch injuries for employees. This danger can be controlled by using skirting or lift covers called format bellows.
Fire and Environmental Protection Equipment
Dust containment equipment and sound limiting equipment will limit these risks with containment roof covers.
Motor or Engine Ducting and Ventilation
Ducting that is strong and flexible to provide ventilation and protection from flames, smoke, and toxicity.
Protecting the Area around Moving, Rotating Machines
Rotating machines can cause serious injuries but using equipment like shade roll-ups and telescopic springs can prevent the machines and workers close to them.
OSHA Has Updated Guidelines for Workplace Safety and Health
OSHA is the federal agency tasked with worker and workplace safetyand health issues. They came up with an extensive guidebook called "Guidelines for Safety and Health Programs" thirty years ago and have recently updated it as "Recommended Practices". This new safety solutions guide has been widely accepted and is designed to be used by a wide variety of businesses of all sizes and types.
The new safety solutions guide presents a workable step-by-step approach to starting a company safety and health program. Companies begin with a basic program with simple goals and add to the program as time goes on. As simple as this sounds, it can be very overwhelming for many business owners or managers. But there are safety-oriented companies who will provide guidance with this OSHA program and make sure a company is in compliance with all OSHA rules and requirements.
Following these OSHA guidelines will have benefits for each company including:
It will help prevent workplace illnesses and injuries and the liability they bring.
Improve company compliance with state and federal regulations and laws meaning a reduction in fines and work stoppages.
A reduction in costs may result. These costs include reductions in worker's compensation, lost work hours, medical bills for workers, and lawsuits.
The program engages workers to be part of the safety plan.
It enhances the company's social responsibility goals and public image. It may make it easier to hire new workers.
Implementing this program may increase worker productivity and improve overall business operations.
Happier, healthier employees will stay with the company longer and be more productive.
There Are More Ways to Create a Safer Workplace
These practices and policies can create a safer work environment.
Use of proper uniforms and safety gear for the hazards of the job at hand is an important part of safety solutions. Some of this equipment can include safety goggles, hard hats, fire-retardant outfits for firefighters, and protective footwear and gloves.
Provide and designate adequate emergency exits. In case of fire or other emergency, employees need a safe way to quickly exit the building. Fire drills can familiarize workers with exit routes and doors. Employees should have access to a map of the exit routes and there should be signage leading to exits.
Safety meetings at the end of one day a month with open discussions with employees about perceived hazards and ways to improve plant safety are useful.
Promoting health codes for safety, cleanliness, and employee health is more important than ever with the specter of COVID threatening everyone.
Inspections of the building by professional safety experts will uncover safety hazards before they cause trouble. The expert can suggest additional safety measures that will add to employee safety and well-being. Make sure that the walkways are clear of obstacles and hazards, stairs are clear and slip-proof, and there are proper railings where needed.
Provide employee training for how to do each job and for safety measures. Well-trained employees suffer fewer injuries and are more productive.
Keep records of every safety issue and how it was addressed. Record all inspections with their reports, record all injuries, and how the injured party was treated from on-site first aid to a trip to the hospital. Good records can show a business owner's trend in unsafe practices or conditions that need to be corrected.
Be on top of Health and safety issues such as COVID-19 and what government mandates are put in place. Take steps to keep any disease risks from spreading and sickening company employees.
Taking these preventative steps for employee safety and health can lead to an improvement in employee productivity and a reduction in costs from workplace accidents and injuries. Keeping the company in strict compliance with OSHA regulations for safety solutions will prevent shutdowns and fines issued for non-compliance issues. It is wise to hire safety consultants who are familiar with OSHA compliance and workplace safety issues.