Striving to improve safety at work pays a number of dividends to business owners. For one, a safe workplace enhances overall productivity. Members of organizations that commit to employee safety feel more comfortable and confident in their environment, two key drivers towards efficient productivity. Moreover, businesses that proactively seek to identify and prevent dangerous situations insulate themselves from loss due to employee injury, turnover, liability claims, and more. Commercial floor mats and other safety products are critical elements of a safe workplace; however there are other steps an organization may take to effectively combat accidents at work. The following list is a compilation of the 5 best ways to improve safety at work while also taking steps towards more efficient and productive operations.
1. Use entrance mats or runners to cover smooth floor spaces.
Floor spaces like marble, tile, and granite are undoubtedly beautiful. In most places of business, these floor spaces add an element of grandeur to the interior décor that may make it tempting to leave them uncovered. However, slip and fall accidents are the most common cause of employee injury at work. Visitors likewise are at risk of slip and fall accident when these spaces are left uncovered. Entrance mats will help to control dirt and moisture accumulation on these floor spaces, reducing the likelihood that they will become slippery and dangerous.
2. Protect employees from electrostatic shock.
Electrostatic shock is a very real danger for electrical equipment and employees alike. Using anti-static mats along the aisles between rows of computers, televisions, or LCD monitors will ensure that shock is not transferred from machine to machine, or machine to employee. This protects employees from shock while also insulating machines, and the valuable data they house, from short-outs and other forms of damage.
3. Warn guests of known dangers.
Pedestrians must be warned of known dangers. Failure to do so may render property owners liable for damages following an accident. Conspicuous and legible signage must be used to warn pedestrians of uneven sidewalks, sudden changes in floor gradient, high voltage areas, and other facility areas that are generally dangerous. Signage should include safety details whenever possible.
4. Keep rainwater in check.
The obvious danger of rainwater is that it makes smooth surfaces slippery. Facilities with tile, marble, granite, or hardwood flooring in their entryways must address this issue to keep floor spaces dry and protect guests from potentially slipping and falling. Rainwater carries with it another danger, however, that is often overlooked. When left to gather in puddles, water may become a breeding ground for mold, mildew, and other harmful bacteria. That bacteria may then travel throughout the facility, infecting other floor and air spaces that are occupied by both employees and guests. Wet umbrella bag stands are an effective means to prevent this problem from occurring. These stands are placed at the entryways and dispense elongated, disposable plastic bags in which guests may store their wet umbrellas. This prevents rainwater from accumulating at the entryway while also
5. Empower employees to make a difference
Perhaps the most effective way to improve safety in the workplace is to encourage employees to be cognizant of it on a daily basis. Employees should feel a sense of efficacy when it comes to identifying potential workplace dangers, brainstorming possible solutions, and working with management to prevent accidents. Regular safety meetings, positive reinforcement, and other mechanisms can be used to create a communicative work environment in which employees feel empowered to make a difference when it comes to safety.
Further Reading: For additional tips on improving workplace safety, please visit our article series on Risk Management Plans.
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