Accidents can happen anywhere, to anybody, at any time. While they can never be 100% prevented, we can reduce the risks of an accident, particularly in the workplace. Preventing accidents in the workplace is primarily the responsibility of the employer, but it will also require the cooperation of the people in the workforce. After all, workplace health and safety or WHS is built around mutual support, and that employees should also take an active role in maintaining safety.
Here are some tips that can help reduce accidents in the workplace.
Identify potential risks in the workplace
Something as simple as a wet floor can cause a workplace accident that will put a worker out of commission and cost both the injured worker and the employer in more ways than one. A wet or slippery floor is just one of the many potential risks in the workplace that an employer has to identify to prevent accidents from happening. Obstructions to paths and heavy items can cause accidents, too. Whatever possible scenario there is for injuries, the employer must explore all of them, list them down, and implement the necessary measures to keep everyone safe. Marking all potentially dangerous areas with signage is one of those necessary measures.
Maintain safety in transit
Many workplace-related accidents occur on the road. To lessen the risk of workplace-driving accidents, you have to make sure that inspections and maintenance tasks are done regularly on all company vehicles. If a problem with the vehicle is spotted, it must be fixed the soonest possible time. For employees authorised to drive these vehicles, checking brake lights, turn signals, tire pressure, and the amount of gas in the tank should be part of their checklists before getting behind the wheel and driving off.
Personal protective equipment is a must
Personal protective equipment or PPE is a must in workplaces where employees are regularly exposed to certain hazards that you wouldn’t find inside a typical office building. Factory workers, construction workers, those who handle chemicals for a living, or any employee who work inherently hazardous jobs must use PPE at all times. PPE such as gloves, hard hats, safety shoes, face masks, ear muffs, and ear plugs are all crucial to preventing injury in the workplace. Employers must also provide adequate PPE training to make sure their employers know how to use their protective gear properly.
Implement workplace drug testing
It is no secret that drugs and alcohol contribute significantly to the risk of accidents in the workplace. These substances can impair a worker’s performance at work, and impairment at work often leads to accidents that cause injuries and even deaths. To address substance abuse in the workplace, the best thing an employer can do is to develop drug and alcohol testing policies and strictly implement workplace drug testing.
Studies have proven that testing for drugs in the workplace has caused the frequency of work-related injuries to be reduced significantly. One study conducted by researchers from Cornell University revealed a 51 per cent drop in injury rates in just two years for companies that implement drug testing.
If you’re thinking of implementing workplace drug testing, make sure you have a clear written policy regarding drugs and alcohol abuse and that you educate the workforce about that policy through a drug safety program. You also have to remember to tread lightly when getting workers tested for drugs, because there are laws in your state that might come into conflict with your policy. To avoid legal complications, always consult legal professionals on the matter.
Incorporate the above-mentioned practices to your workplace accident prevention program and encourage your workers to cooperate and take these safety measures seriously, and your workplace is on its way to becoming a safe working environment for everyone.