Accidents at work are common and can happen to anyone at any time. Every different job has its own hazards and it is the job of the employer to provide a safe and healthy environment for the employees under him.
The most common cause of accidents in the work area is falls. Most falls happen due to poor housekeeping when things are left on the floor, poor flooring and obstructions. Falls are often harmless, but the reality is that they may even lead to serious head injuries, major fractures and broken bones. All employers should ensure that:
- Flooring is suitable and replaced in time.
- Cables should be hidden away.
- All flooring should be cleaned regularly.
- Sufficient lighting with hand rails present (wherever necessary).
- Wet or slippery floors are clearly marked.
- All objects left by co-workers should be picked up as soon as possible.
These include all activities like lifting, pushing, pulling, lowering, moving or carrying objects that are common in almost every workplace. The following safety measures should be taken:
- Long distance carrying is not done by hand.
- Heavy goods should be lifted by machinery wherever possible.
- Health and safety instructions should be provided to all employees on how to properly lift heavy objects.
- No work should require strenuous pulling/pushing.
Accidents are not just limited to the confined workplace but also anywhere people are using motorized vehicles. Employees have accidents by being struck down by the vehicles where there is no proper “road”. Accidents also include the vehicle being over turned or collapsing with another vehicle. Materials may also fall from the moving vehicles, posing harm to anyone passing close to the vehicle.
Employers should ensure the following:
- Segregation through barriers between pedestrians and vehicles.
- There should be one-way driving only. Reversing should be prohibited.
- The risk of falls from vehicles should be reduced.
- The drivers should be properly trained.
Electric shocks can happen to anyone, not just the employees handling electrical equipment or electricians. Therefore, electricals burns are also common. Employers should ensure:
- The staff using electrical equipment should be well-trained.
- Proper warnings are provided of all electrical hazards.
- Safe working practices are promoted.
- Extension cords are used as less as possible and if used, kept away from walkways.
Fires at the workplace are very dangerous and can cause much harm. It’s best to think about fire safety before it happens. The employer should ensure that the following are available:
- Proper and adequate escape routes around the workplace in case of fire.
- Fire alarms around places where fire is imminent.
- All electrical equipment’s are switched off at the end of the day.
- Practice fire drills on a regular basis.
- All damaged wires and electrical equipment should be replaced immediately.
Andy has been working in the OH&S industry for over 4 years distributing safety cable covers. Andy is also an active blogger, who loves sharing his ideas and opinions online.
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