Workplace Safety Tips Worth Considering
Workplace safety tips are all too often posed in a place where no one is apt to read them, or are included in one of those not-to-exciting "training films" that someone has decided, often under pressure from someone else, is mandatory viewing. Since we all have a little bit of the free spirit within us, when something is mandatory we tend to give no more effort or attention than we absolutely have to. Viewing a safety film is light years away from practicing safety on a day to day basis.
We all want to feel safe in the workplace, whether is on the factory floor or an executive office. More accidents may happen in an environment where there is a great deal of noise, heavy machinery, and workers scurrying to and fro, but most "dumb" accidents probably happen in an office environment. Workplace safety tips need to encompass not only the office, the machine shop, and the loading dock, but the cafeteria, and the walk from to and from one's parking space as well. Some would say that the commute to and from work should be talked about as well.
A Culture Of Safety - The best of all workplace safety tips, and admittedly one of the most difficult to implement would be to instill a culture of safety in the workplace, where everyone is constantly vigilant, reporting or removing real or potential hazards, and above all keeping everything clean and neat. This is far preferable to an annual, "let's make this a safe place" exercise, or having safety police in place just waiting for you to litter, or leave a file cabinet drawer open. A good start is to devote a portion of a daily staff or crew meeting to safety concerns. If done regularly, this does not have to be overly formal. Give workers a chance to address something they see as being unsafe, and assign someone to the task of getting something done about it. Give the worker some ownership in working safety issues, rather than telling him or her to just follow the rules. Ownership can be a powerful agent towards meeting desired goals.
Everything In Its Place - When we want to run an efficient organization we try to eliminate objects or processes we really don't need. In any list of workplace safety tips there should be something about getting rid of potential hazards, often things that have been stored in a "convenient" place, but represent a hazard of one kind or another and should be either tossed out or placed elsewhere. Containers of flammable liquids belong in a designated place, and not behind the door in someone's office or in the corner of a conference room. In this respect, the factory floor often does a better job of managing hazardous materials than offices do.
Fix Things - When a piece of machinery is wearing out, either have it repaired or replaced. This is equally important whether we're talking about an electrical or a mechanical tool. A frayed wire or a loosening metal part may be a potential source of danger, but the frustration in dealing with poorly performing equipment or machinery carries with it yet another kind of danger. Stress and Anger.
Sometimes There Must Be Rules - At the beginning of this article, we may have appeared to turn somewhat of a blind eye to rules and procedures. Some workplace safety tips do need to be posted at times, and some safety procedures should be mandatory. When working in an environment where there are potential safety concerns or dangers, procedures often are put in place to mitigate any danger and protect the workers. These procedures must be followed, and at times someone must be given the responsibility of seeing that the procedures are indeed being followed and reporting to management when they are not. Once in a while, in certain workplace environments, we will find a safety policeman is necessary.