While every establishment has a specific set of safety policies for facility-specific work procedures, there are some safety rules that apply across organizations and industries. These are rules that should be included in training programs and safety orientations, regardless of individual jobs a worker may be tasked with. Seton offers the following discussion of safety guidelines to apply in the workplace:
Developing Safety Habits. Promoting safety in the workplace doesn’t just affect the worker’s well being, it also ensures an efficient and productive workplace. To help accomplish this, it is important to:
- Cultivate the proper attitude towards safety in the workplace, where minor rules and injuries are not dismissed or taken for granted. Ignoring minor procedures can cause confusion and potential hazards; and even small injuries can become serious without the proper medical attention. As such, it is important to report every injury and illness to supervisors regardless of severity.
- Practice appropriate housekeeping methods to keep work areas neat and organised. Any problems that are beyond the skill of those who are directly involved should be reported to supervisors as well.
- Fire safety should remain a priority, with fire exists kept free of any obstructions to accommodate emergencies. Any items that could easily ignite should be properly disposed of. In the event of a fire, all personnel should be able to locate the nearest fire extinguishers, operate these effectively without harming themselves, and, when necessary, take the nearest and shortest exits to safety.
Such practices should be developed and provided with the proper guidance and support materials. Training documents, videos and programs allow establishments to easily and systematically train employees (both new and veteran) in safety rules. Seton offers several training kits that are ready for use in meetings, presentations and other work sessions.
Implementing Safety Rules. In order to facilitate a safe work environment, regulations can serve as useful support. The following are a few helpful rules:
- Running around the workplace should be discouraged. People walking at a reasonable pace while paying attention to their surroundings are less likely to hit others, step unto a busy lane, or cause other potential accidents and injury.
- Offices, warehouses, and manufacturing plants are not the appropriate place for rough and boisterous play. Horseplay and pranks in the workplace should likewise be discouraged.
- Drug abuse in the workplace should be prohibited. People who work under the influence of drugs or alcohol pose health and safety risks to the whole establishment. They also put visitors, customers, and the wider public in danger.
- The use of guns, knives, and other potential weapons have no place in the workplace unless you are part of security. Carrying these items within the premises should be strictly prohibited.
To ensure that employees remain aware of these rules, warning signs should be posted throughout the workplace, to keep them reminded of said policies. Seton offers a wide range of safety and security signs that provide clear, easy-to-read safety warnings.
Use and Maintenance of Workplace Equipment. Monitoring the equipment used in the workplace is an important safety procedure. Some crucial tips include:
- Proper training on lockout/tagout protocols should be provided to those whose work directly with machinery and other electrical equipment. Even those whose tasks do not require lockout/tagout need to be aware of these policies as they can become unwitting casualties in case of lockout/tagout accidents.
- Objects should be lifted, moved, and carried by those who have the capacity to deal with the weight and stress. Personnel who need to carry objects that are too heavy for them should not hesitate to ask for help or use a dolly, forklift, and other material handling equipment.
- Machines should not be repaired while in operation. Getting rid of a jam or obstruction should likewise be done when it is shut off. Machines should be locked out prior to carrying out any type of adjustment or repair.
- Employees should know what personal protective equipment (PPE) is necessary for their tasks, and be able to use them accordingly.
Encouraging Feedback. Employees should be encouraged to raise pertinent safety questions and communicate them through the proper channels. Even simple suggestion boxes can be a big help in providing a means for employees to express their concerns.
- Workers should not hesitate to ask their questions on safety rules and procedures.
- Failure to follow safety rules should be reported to supervisors.
Safety is a critical aspect of each and every organisational workflow. All these general safety principles and guidelines are just the foundation that each industry can expand to meet their more specific safety needs.
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