5 Common Mistakes with Workplace Safety and How to Avoid Them

Do you lie awake at night wondering if there’s more you could be doing to protect your workers? Do you fear that a potential workplace injury is at risk for your staff? If so, then you need to learn about common mistakes with workplace safety.

Knowing these mistakes will help you make the right decisions for your work floor. By learning the common errors that employers make, you can ensure more safety for you and all your employees. It’s all about lowering risk.

See below for several common mistakes with workplace safety that your company should actively avoid in it’s day to day operations.

1. Not Getting Regular Workplace Inspections

Of course, there are general workplace safety hazards that all employers are aware of such as slippery floors, objects that could potentially fall, heavy equipment, and so forth.

However, what most people don’t realize is that there are specific risks related to each job. For example, some positions at your company might be required to lift more than others. In doing so, they have a higher risk of back injuries.

The only way that you can learn the specific risks involved with each position at your company is through a job safety analysis (JSA). But what is JSA? it’s an in-depth study of a job’s process and the hazards involved with it.

Having this analysis done can help you protect yourself, your company, and your workers more successfully moving forward. 

While the risk will always be there, you can take action such as investing in more workers’ compensation coverage to give them financial peace in an emergency.

2. Not Investing Time in Training for Employees

Imagine the horror of having an employee injure themselves on your work floor by doing something you could’ve trained them not to do. If you never take the time to train your staff, then you’re raising the likelihood of a serious workplace injury.

Don’t just assume that they’ll use common sense because they’re grown, adults. Your employees feel the urgency to fulfill their job each day, and will often cut corners and take risks to do so.

For example, They’ll climb the shelves at your warehouse to store or retrieve a box rather than grabbing a ladder. They might spill harmful chemicals on themselves by not taking the time to put on proper safety equipment.

Always take the time to educate your staff. Be sure to dedicate at least one hour a week towards informing them of your safety protocols and potential penalties if they’re caught not following the guidelines you’ve laid out.

An employee that doesn’t follow your safety rules isn’t just a threat to themselves, they are a threat to everyone around them. Their negligence could lead to an injury to one of your clients or employees.

3. Not Using Wet Floor Signs Effectively

Slip and fall cases are the most common form of workplace injury. Too many companies take wet floor signs for granted, choosing to either purchase one to have in the building or electing to have none at all (which is illegal).

You should always have at least two wet floor signs for every floor in your company’s building. That way, there is always one to be used when a spill occurs, there’s a water leak, or it’s raining outside and people walking in are making the floors wet.

Whenever something has spilled on the floor, be sure to clean it up right away. Set up the wet floor sign before you start mopping to warn someone coming around the corner.

Make sure that your entire team is held accountable for cleaning up any mess that they make. Give them proper training on where to retrieve cleaning supplies, how to clean it, and when to set up the wet floor sign for all to see.

4. Creating a Stressful Environment

This is where a majority of managers and executives fail. Rather than absorbing the stress and handling it for themselves, they choose to redirect all that stress and tension at their employees.

Doing so will essentially guarantee a workplace accident. Not only will your workers make risky decisions to try and cut production time, but they’ll also gain unhealthy mental health habits if pushed too hard.

While you might not be guilty of adding stress to your staff, you might be surprised to find out that a manager or two in your company is.

It’s important to stress healthy work behavior to your entire staff. Make sure to communicate an open door policy for employees to report any stress that they’re dealing with to yourself or one of your HR reps.

5. Not Taking Time to Create Safety Instructions

Think back to the last time you were forced to sit in a room for an hour-long presentation. Can you confidently recite everything that the speaker said? Of course not.

You can’t expect your staff to remember every safety guideline you give them in an occasional (and often infrequent) workplace safety presentation.

Instead, you need to remind them of those guidelines at every turn. Take the time to create safety instructions at their workspaces.

For example, put a graphic near harmful chemicals reminding your staff to put on gloves, safety goggles, and so on before handling them. Put instructions on how to clean up a spill in the employee breakroom. 

Avoid These Mistakes With Workplace Safety

Now that you have seen several mistakes with workplace safety that your company needs to avoid, it’s time to take action.

Start by thinking through all the highest risks that your company has. Begin by having a JSA performed to learn about the potential safety hazards with every position in your business structure.

Also, be sure to browse our website for more articles on enforcing workplace safety, as well as many other helpful topics.

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