As a business owner in Florida, how often do you consider if adequate measures are being taken to manage injury risks at your workplace? Any work-related mishap can lead to productivity losses, compensation claims, and general dissatisfaction among your employees. Here are five common types of workplace hazards to look out for, and what you can do.
Slips and falls
Across many industries, accidents due to slipping or falling are among the leading causes of injury in the workplace. The dangers are compounded for those who work at a height – ranging from a ten-foot scaffold at a renovation, or the precarious elevations at theme park rides.
OSHA has strict standards requiring employers to improve working conditions with fall protection measures such as guard rails, toe-boards, safety lines, and harnesses. Proper training is also essential; have your personnel periodically take a fall protection seminar conducted by experienced rigging specialists in Florida.
Workers operating from heights can take measures to secure and harness themselves, but what about their tools? Debris or unsecured tools and other objects falling to the ground are a common cause of workplace injuries, especially at construction sites. But the dangers are also present in more innocuous situations; workers shifting goods in a warehouse or factory can mishandle heavy loads, for instance.
Place warning signs and require all employees to wear protective equipment if they move through an area with falling hazards. Secure loads with strapping, have workers tie up their tools, and install safety nets to protect people on the ground from random falling objects.
The latest data available shows that work-related vehicle accidents are the leading cause of workplace fatalities in our state. On the national level, transportation mishaps are the leading category, with 40% of fatalities. Whether your company maintains its vehicle fleet or has certain employees drive as part of work-related tasks, these numbers should be a major concern.
Draft a driver policy with zero tolerance for risky behaviors, such as distracted driving or driving under the influence. Cascade this to your drivers, make sure they are trained and frequently monitored to ensure compliance and promote road safety within your organization.
Handling heavy equipment or machinery of the type frequently used in manufacturing, agriculture, or construction can present a danger to many workers. Malfunctions or operator error can play a part in equipment-related accidents, and sometimes loose clothing gets stuck and leads to entanglement.
Make sure that each specialized machine or equipment is only handled by those employees who’ve undergone the corresponding training. All workers should wear suitable protective clothing in the vicinity. Make sure there’s proper communication on-site, whether by reducing noise levels or using radio systems or equivalent.
Fatigue or repetitive strain
As any athlete can tell you, physical exertion in an exhausted state will lead to injury. Fatigue can compound the risks of workplace injuries. Also, repeatedly doing mundane activities such as working at a desktop can lead to repetitive stress injuries from poor form or ergonomics.
As an employer, encourage your people to take regular breaks and report any symptoms. Pay attention and look for opportunities to invest in better comfort and ergonomics for your office.
In any business, there will always be some form of an occupational hazard. No matter how marginal these may seem, take them seriously – in the long run, preventive measures will save you from lost productivity and litigation, and improve your employees’ morale and wellness.