Workplace safety is a very important consideration and the last thing anyone wants in the workplace is a safety hazard. Workplace injuries are very common, and many million workers are getting injured severely on the job and requiring ongoing medical care. Usually, the result of overuse, work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) is inflammatory and degenerative conditions that affect the muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, nerves, and blood vessels.
Almost every job comes with certain ergonomic risk factors and learning to identify them is crucial to reducing stress, and avoiding injury and lost productivity. Before going on to the ways to avoid workplace injuries, let us have a look at the types of workplace injuries.
- Injuries from overexertion: These injuries include those caused by lifting, pulling, pushing, throwing or carrying heavy objects.
- Slip and fall injuries: These are caused by wet/slippery floors or debris/objects left along the way.
- Repetitive motion injuries: Many jobs involve repetitive movements, and exposure to these in the long term can put a strain on the muscles and tendons.
- Falling from heights: When an employee falls from a raised area by falling or due to faulty equipment, injuries occur.
- Injuries caused by falling objects: These are caused by objects that are dropped or fall from a shelf or some other raised surface.
- Vehicle accidents: These involve injuries caused by vehicle accidents while the employee was performing routine jobs.
- Machine entanglement: These types of injuries occur mostly in workplaces where heavy machinery is used, and a worker’s hair, clothing or body part gets caught in equipment.
- Assault: Sometimes arguments or disagreements among employees could lead to workplace violence and injury.
Organizations that look to take workplace safety to the next level will focus on continuous improvement. They are driven by the objective that they have to do more to protect their employees and focus on implementing a highly reliable program to prevent workplace injuries and fatalities.
- Identifying possible precursors to serious injuries and fatalities
- Educating employees regarding these antecedents
- Give greater focus to developing strategies that will help eliminate the potential for such incidents to occur.
Formulating a good injury and fatality prevention program and going on to implement it requires careful planning as regards the strategies used and the responsibilities assigned. Moreover, the entire organization must be actively involved for the safety program to work flawlessly.
8 Ways to Improve Safety in the Workplace
Strong leadership from senior management personnel: The senior management should lead the way and act as role models for how all workers contribute to a safe working environment.
Involvement of employees: If the safety program is to be effective, employees must be actively involved in it, and also recognized for their participation.
Quality medical care and return-to-work programs: Timely and superior quality medical treatment will help workers return to work more quickly. This also helps reduce workers’ compensation costs.
Regular safety and health communication: This will keep employees informed. It is important to obtain their feedback and suggestions. Leaders should regularly share safety regulations, and safety messages and workers should be encouraged to identify and report obstacles to safety.
Conduct training and orientation for all workers: It is important to develop a written health and safety training plan with specific objectives and instruction procedures.
Use protective safety equipment: It is essential that you wear the right safety equipment during your work.
Report unsafe working conditions: If the workplace is unsafe for you or other workers, employees must inform any safety hazards in the workplace or work risks to the management.
Sit in a proper posture: If your job involves repetitive tasks or even sitting for long hours, take frequent breaks. Get up and walk around – experts say that this will break up the negative physiological changes that sitting can cause.
Increasing awareness of the possibility of workplace injuries should be created to develop more effective safety programs. Maintain healthy body weight and active lifestyle and exercise regularly to strengthen your muscles and build endurance. These small but significant modifications can make a big difference to the way you work and your health.
Moreover, the health and safety of workers and the prevention of workplace accidents should be a priority for any employer. When starting a safety campaign, get everyone involved and explain the importance of making the workplace safer, healthier, and more efficient.