Protecting your employees can be a challenging proposition. The modern workplace can be a loud and dangerous place that exposes your workers to hazards that are unique to your workplace. For this reason it’s critically important that managers and employees alike understand what they can do to ensure each employee goes home safely after every shift.

Below are 9 Workplace Safety Secrets You Need to Know:

Secret #1: No Substitute for Training

We know that you’d never just hand a new employee a safety manual and wish them the best of luck, but there are companies out there that don’t invest in training. Regardless of whether the employee is new or has been with you for 15 years, frequent safety training is a key component to helping everyone understand his or her role in maintaining a safe work environment.

Secret #2: Accidents Don’t Exist

To call something an “accident” means that there is nothing to blame. While your individual employees may not be to blame for an incident, it could very well be a failure of procedure or an uninspected piece of equipment that’s at fault. Creating an environment where everyone is invested in safety is the best way to prevent workplace hazards and catastrophes from happening. Be as prepared as possible by making tool and equipment checks a part of the daily routine and conduct regular inspections of the work area for often overlooked dangers, no matter how small they may be. Investing in safety training as well as predictive analytic tools and technology like Vantage can be a great way to help reduce injuries and the associated costs.

Secret #3: Drive Behavior Changes

As a leader within your company, you need to have a safety driven mindset and work to share that with the rest of your employees. By developing systems that reward and encourage behavioral changes, you have the opportunity to positively effect changes within the organization. These changes can lead to a safer work environment for everyone. 

Secret #4: Locking Up Equipment

Proper training on pieces of potentially dangerous equipment should always include the proper shutdown and lock up procedure. This critical step will help keep employees who are untrained and unfamiliar with the equipment from injuring themselves or others. Furthermore, properly locked-up equipment keeps seasoned operators from making costly mistakes.

Secret #5: Electricity Is Dangerous

Perhaps this isn’t the biggest secret on the list, but because of electricity’s constant role in our lives, it is easy to overlook the potential hazards it carries with it. Stop and think about how many times you’ve seen a surge suppressor that has been overloaded or even has another suppressor plugged into it. The potential for creating a short in the outlet, which sparks a fire, is tremendous. 

Secret #6: Trips and Falls

One of the few constants in life is the unavoidable force of gravity. Trips and falls are one of the most common causes for workplace injury and can be reduced via proper signage and training. Where there is a risk for a trip or fall, properly mark the area and during training and onboarding, point them out to employees.

Secret #7: Start From The Ground Up

Footwear is one of the most important aspects of maintaining a safe work environment. From slip-proof to steel-toed and beyond, the selection of safety-oriented footwear is staggering. Determine which attributes your employees need and make it mandatory. Not only will you be investing in safety, but your employees’ comfort as well. Standing for long periods of time often leads to fatigue, which can increase the chances of a safety-related incident.

Secret #8: All Glasses Are Not Equal

Many people make the mistake of thinking that safety glasses/goggles are needed to simply prevent physical objects and debris from contacting the eyes. However, certain professions require glasses that are able to prevent fumes, diseases and chemicals from coming in contact with the delicate eye membrane as well. Spend the time to research your workplace’s specific needs in order to make the best choice.

Secret #9: Being Hands-On Works

This is not only a reference to ensuring that everyone is wearing the necessary hand protection, but also that your company’s management is actively involved in creating a safer workplace. Hold regular round table discussions with employees to learn their concerns and insights as to what is going well and what isn’t. The more you involve people in becoming a part of safety, the safer your workplace will become.

There should be no secrets when it comes to protecting your employees and guaranteeing that they make it home safely at the end of every day. These nine items are merely a guideline to help you start thinking about how you can improve your own safety practices.

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