Best Practices in Workplace Safety Measures

Best Practices in Workplace Safety Measures

Best Practices in Workplace Safety Measures

Health and safety in the workplace – Millions of Americans go to work on a daily basis, fully expecting to return home in one piece at the end of the day. While workers need to be aware of their surroundings and keep a level head, even more responsibility falls on the shoulders of the employer. Just about every company must follow the safety guidelines provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA

This organization requires that an employer provide a safe work environment for every worker who clocks in each day. Workers must understand that they have many rights under OSHA, including the right to get proper training, safe equipment, and the ability to report any injury or illness that occurs on the job so they may get the proper treatment. 

Health and safety practices in the workplace – To help workers understand what a safe environment looks like, let’s look at some of the most common jobs and the safety measures that must be in place. 

Health Care Workers

Some of the hardest working people in our country are the smart and brave men and women in the healthcare industry. These doctors and nurses work long hours and face a slew of injuries and illnesses, just to return to work day after day to help the rest of the world stay healthy. But the medical field can be very dangerous, and that could not be any truer now with the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

The coronavirus is a very contagious and lethal disease that is spreading around the globe, so when patients enter the hospital with symptoms, the nurses and doctors who help those patients must also remain safe. To protect them, hospitals have the responsibility of ensuring that nurses are protected from COVID-19 by providing proper training and the supplies necessary to properly wash their hands and sterilize their tools. There should be as little physical contact as possible, which is why hospitals should be straying from physical charts and medical records in exchange for electronic records and the ability to check on patients remotely instead of constantly being in the room.

Even when there is not a global pandemic, doctors and nurses have dangerous jobs, and they need support from their employers. There are many issues that the public doesn’t often think about, like the fact that medical professionals can face a lot of body strain by helping move patients who can’t move well on their own. For that, hospitals should have plenty of wheelchairs and lifting tools to remove this tension from the provider.

All of this doesn’t even factor in the often overwhelming amount of workplace stress they feel on a daily basis. Hospital management should try to avoid stress altogether by having manageable shift changes and ensuring that they get proper breaks. Nurses may not always come forward when they are stressed

Factory Safety

While any workplace has its share of dangers, warehouse and factory workers face some of the biggest physical threats since they often handle large objects and heavy machinery. It is essential that warehouse management communicate proper safety procedures from day one and complete reviews on a regular basis to ensure that all employees are following guidelines and that all equipment is updated. All warehouse employees should be provided with the proper gear to do their job without worry, from safety glasses to kneepads.

Any employee who operates machinery, from the forklift to a pallet jack, should have proper training and necessary certifications before they even touch the device. Also, place signage wherever necessary. Everything from low shelves to slippery areas should have a warning sign paired with them so a worker can easily avoid the threat.

When lifting and moving heavy objects, all warehouse employees and management should follow proper techniques, so they do not get hurt. This includes lifting with their knees, knowing their limitations, and using machinery when necessary. Above all, your warehouse should have an open-door policy when it comes to workplace safety. Employees should feel comfortable coming to management if they feel that there is a concern, and that issue should be corrected immediately.

Asbestos: The Invisible Enemy

An important note must be made about the dangers of asbestos. This dangerous substance is a natural mineral that is found in many building supplies, including insulation, roofing materials, floor tiles, plumbing work, and cement. Asbestos is often found in the form of tiny fibers within these building supplies that are all but invisible to the naked eye, so workers would typically not know they absorbed the substance until it is too late. After being exposed to asbestos, the individual could eventually be diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer of the lungs, heart, and stomach.

The only way to tell that a house has asbestos is when tested. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that these tests are completed, so construction workers and building designers are not exposed. On top of determining the existence of asbestos before the employees get started, construction companies should also provide awareness training and proper safety gear.

Regardless of the industry, make sure that employees are not inhaling or absorbing dangerous toxins of any kind. Test and clean areas to avoid unnecessary danger to the workers. Many businesses may even be smart to invest in a dust collector. It will clean out all contaminants and keep dust and dirt from getting into the environment outside.

Office Safety

Although they are often not doing physical labor, office employees must also be provided with a safe work environment. Like in the warehouse, post signage where there are spilled liquids and emergency exits. To avoid trips and falls, close unnecessary desk drawers, and keep wires from office equipment out of the way. 

While many office employees sit down all day, poor posture can lead to neck and back pain. Employees need to sit properly with their feet flat on the ground and their neck and head straight. Employers should ensure that employees have ergonomic desk setups that promote this healthy posture. Finally, workers must have their required breaks so they can leave their desks when appropriate to stretch and get fresh air. To protect their eyes, encourage all employees to follow the simple method of stopping every 20 minutes to look at an object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

In the end, every individual in the workforce deserves to work in a safe and caring environment. If you feel that you are not treated fairly by your employer, you have the right to speak up and make it right.

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Article Author Details

Charlie Fletcher

Charlie Fletcher is a freelance writer living in the pacific northwest who has a variety of interests including sociology, politics, business, education, health, and more.