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For warehouses and manufacturing, week three of National Safety Month (NSM) – preventing falls – is particularly relevant. When you get into work-related injuries, these industries top the charts in reported incidents. Falls top the charts in frequency of all reported work injuries. So preventing the most common injury should catch the attention of those managing of the most injured employees.
Falls (including slips and trips) are easy to prevent, but clearly, risk factors are not being addressed. Issues related to falls actually showed up twice on OSHA’s Top 10 violations for Fiscal Year 2017. Falls lead the list, and by a lot at that:
Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501): 6,072 violations
Hazard Communication (1910.1200): 4,176
Scaffolding (1926.451): 3,288
Respiratory Protection (1910.134): 3,097
Lockout/Tagout (1910.147): 2,877
Ladders (1926.1053): 2,241
Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178): 2,162
Machine Guarding (1910.212): 1,933
Fall Protection – Training Requirements: 1,523
Electrical – Wiring Methods (1910.305): 1,405
If you’re wondering how to improve safety, diligently follow these five simple guidelines.
This isn’t to say companies can skirt responsibility when an accident happens, but it’s up to everyone do his or her part in safety. You need everyone to cooperate to accomplish the rest of this list, too, so communicate to employees the importance of:
Perhaps the most obvious advice, keeping surfaces dry can be tough to keep up with. It’s easy for wet floors, parking lots, and sidewalks to go unnoticed. Weather in particular creates hazards – even indoors as people track in mud, rain, and snow. Here is a basic checklist of indoor traction control to monitor from Grainger’s blog post:
Make that proper, daily housecleaning. Soiled or littered walking surfaces are common reasons for falls. Maintaining a clean working environment should be built into each worker’s daily responsibilities. You should be able to check all of these boxes:
This is another tip that sounds obvious, but mindless behavior is how many of us operate. Until you practice paying attention to the safety of a walkway, it’s easy to accidentally leave a file drawer open or neglect to pick a box back up. In addition to a room’s general cleanliness, help employees become aware of:
It’s hard to avoid an obstacle you can’t see. Whether that’s the result of shadows or complete darkness, proper lighting can eliminate many hazards. For a warehouse manager, you want to:
Employees have a responsibility, too, to always first turn a light on when walking into a dark space, and report any lighting issues they notice.
At Packnet, we care about the protection of your employees as well as your goods. We encourage routine reviews of all safety and wellness plans. When the time comes to think about the integrity and effectiveness of your packaging, give us a call. 952.944.9124.