Safety in the Workplace and Working Safely
Today, safety is a way of life. Not just on the job, but at home, in public places, and on the road. People are taking personal responsibility for their own safety, and making plans to keep their families, communities, and workplaces safe. Did you know:
- In 2001, there were 5,300 work-related unintentional-injury deaths in the U.S. The total cost of these deaths was $132.1 billion.
- 3.9 million Americans suffered disabling injuries on the job in 2001; 6.8 million American workers suffered disabling injuries off the job in 2001.
- Each work-related disabling injury can cost $29,000 – including lost wages.
Here are some things you can do to make sure you and your co-workers are safe at work:
- Foster an attitude of safety awareness; make it part of your company’s culture, and get management on board.
- Designate a safety team leader who is committed to staying up to date on current safety issues. Form a safety team and report on its meetings to all employees. People will work harder to implement new ideas if they are given responsibility to develop those ideas themselves.
- Develop a systematic approach to accident investigation.
- Establish an effective emergency response and evacuation plan; keep it updated and practice it regularly.
- Be familiar with the location of fire extinguishers.
- Keep fire lanes clear at all times. They exist for emergency vehicles only.
- Keep personal work space areas clear of any debris that may be a fire hazard or may impede a safe exit.
- Create a schedule of monthly or weekly safety briefings.
- Focus on safety training and continuing education. Select courses that are appropriate to your business and make it a priority to provide them to your workers. Consider offering Defensive Driving and First Aid courses to any interested employees.
- Urge workers to take advantage of employee assistance programs when necessary. They’ll find it hard to concentrate on safety if they’re struggling with personal problems.
Address off-the-job safety and health issues by promoting your company’s wellness programs, or consider subsidizing health club fees. Provide magazines which offer safety and wellness tips and articles for families.
What to do in case of an emergency:
- In case of an emergency, alert others in your area.
- Use the posted building escape plan.
- Follow emergency exit signs to an exit.
- Do not use the elevators. Use stairwells to evacuate the building. Proceed down to the street level exit.
- Be familiar with your secondary exit in case the primary exit is blocked.
- Assist those with physical handicaps to an exit.
- Once out… STAY OUT! Meet at a designated meeting place.
- Call 9-1-1 from a safe location.
- Give the dispatcher as much accurate information as possible.
- If it’s not possible to escape from the floor that you are on, try to go to a room with an outside window.