Occupational hazards are always present in any facility regardless of the industry you belong to. As a business owner, addressing safety concerns before starting your operations should be a priority. You can implement specific safety strategies to help protect workers and other occupants in the building.
The Importance of Regulatory Compliance
Your action plan must comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations and standards. You can use these guidelines as a baseline to help avoid the consequences of any minor or major workplace mishaps. This is not only a reasonable practice to maintain, but it’s also a mandatory effort to continue your operations in many different states.
When these implementations take effect, hazards and risks in the workplace can significantly be reduced or eliminated. This can benefit your company and workers in other ways, such as reducing absenteeism, lowering turnover rates, and avoiding injury or illness costs. You may also observe improvements in productivity, work quality, and employee morale.
8 Risky Facility Situations You May Have Overlooked
Even with safety protocols, small issues can still be overlooked and lead to major injuries and accidents. To better minimize these risks, know the common situations and how you can address them. Here are a few examples.
- Delaying machine maintenance and inspections
Continuous use of tools and other equipment can cause them to work inefficiently over time. This may be due to regular wear and tear or overuse. If you don’t check or repair the machine regularly, accidents and injuries can occur.
For example, fire rated glass installations can begin to wear down as they age, preventing them from carrying out their purpose of stopping the spread of heat and fires around your building. When these installations don’t function properly, they can cause more damage.
- Speeding up the training process
Rushing employee training so that you can quickly put the new hires to work is ineffective. They will have less time to comprehend essential information fully, so it will be challenging for them to respond properly and promptly if a workplace hazard occurs.
A good way of ensuring that your employees’ training is adequate is to monitor their safety training carefully and provide ample time for each session. Admin or HR should create a training program covering everything they need to know about workplace safety.
- Using the wrong tool alternatives
Some facilities may experience budget restraints that force them to use cheap, alternative tools to complete a job—for example, workers using a portable ladder when using fixed ladders is the safer option between the two.
Opting for an unreliable solution can make the work less efficient and pose a safety risk—in an effort to save money, you end up having to pay more.
- Ignoring near misses
Workers may not always report safety incidents if no injuries occur. If these happen regularly, there’s no way for companies to track and investigate. This can pose a bigger risk for workers if the company fails to resolve the issue and the same incident transpires again.
- Wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) incorrectly
Failing to use PPE properly can minimize the efficiency of the gear and pose major safety risks for workers. For example, it’s common for construction workers to wear their hard hats backward for easy movement in closed quarters, but this way is not enough to protect their heads if something falls on them.
- Forgetting to clean up
A dirty work environment can cause numerous sanitary and safety risks. For example, chemical facilities may risk the safety of their workers if they are not handling or keeping harmful substances properly. Building owners may also need to consider indoor air quality if these chemicals leave lingering toxic scents.
- Having no proper process
Many workplace injuries can occur when workers do tasks outside the usual procedure. An example would be doing the steps in the wrong order or utilizing tools and methods that are not part of the process. Going outside of regular plans diminishes implementation controls that protect against workplace hazards.
- Communicating unclearly
Miscommunication can happen in any industry. But, not knowing how to address this issue properly can cause workers to make more mistakes, with some leading to accidents. To prevent these, it’s best to discuss what’s safe and unsafe to do in the workplace.
Better Safe Than Sorry
Maintaining a safe work environment should be a priority for all businesses. This benefits and protects all workers and building occupants from injuries or accidents. Not only that, but failure to follow safety regulations like the OSHA standards can lead to heavy consequences that hinder your operations.
While many industries maintain a common practice of improving workplace safety and security, some occupational hazards may still exist. Therefore, it’s important to learn about the common facility risks that you may miss and attend to them before an incident occurs.