One, two, three, four, five, six, seven… In the time that it took you to read those numbers, somebody in the United States was injured at work.
You read that right. Once every seven seconds, people report a new workplace injury. Some of those injuries result in death.
While certain employment environments are safer than others, we’ve got bad news for you if you run an industrial company… Next to construction, your business has the highest injury liability.
If you’ve been in business long enough, you’re probably not surprised by that reality. After all, with all of the heavy machinery and chemicals that get leveraged in your place of employment, it’s almost a given that eventually, somebody is going to get injured.
While you can’t stop injuries altogether, with the help of these workplace safety tips, you can curb their occurrence significantly.
1. Have Robust, Regularly Revisited Training
Quality training is at the foundation of all workplace safety tips.
If you take one thing away from this article, let it be that training your employees on hazards in your workplace and how to navigate them can save them their lives and can save you a ton of money.
Consequently, investing in a quality, accredited training program that you can orient new employees around and re-familiarize existing employees with is a must.
Here are some things that an industrial company training program should cover.
What should you do if a fire breaks out? How about if there’s a chemical spill?
Employees should be briefed on the safest course of action to take when anything goes wrong in your place of employment
How to Use Equipment Properly
Don’t just hand employees jugs of hazardous chemicals and tell them to clean your equipment with them. They need to know what those chemicals are, what they can do and how to handle them safely.
The same goes for any tools that exist on your work-floor (conveyor belts, buzz saws, etc.)
Workplace Injury Statistics and Stories
The best way to make people cognizant of the dangers around them is to tell them about common workplace injuries and to show them the faces of people that have suffered from them.
Don’t be shy in your training when it comes to sharing harrowing statistics and heartbreaking stories.
2. Make Reporting a Cultural Must
You can’t have eyes and ears all-around your work floor all day. At some point, reporting because the duty of your employees so that you can take swift action to snuff out safety issues that may be rearing their heads.
Employees should always feel comfortable bringing concerns to your attention. As a matter of fact, they should feel more than comfortable. They should feel obligated to report any safety concern that they see to you or a floor manager immediately.
Make that clear any chance you get.
3. Never Let Workers Do Their Job Without the Right Equipment
Helmets, breathing masks, reflective vests… These are just a few of the most common safety gear items that employees may need to legally be wearing in order to safely work in your building.
As employees become more comfortable with their duties, it’s not uncommon that some may choose to forgo safety equipment that they feel they don’t really need.
Do not allow this.
All employees that are not sporting required safety equipment should be written up and repeat offenders should be fired for liability purposes.
4. Have a Third-Party Inspect Your Building
A large part of what creates a safe work environment is the building in which your company operates out of.
Are safety exits all illuminated? Is your building clear of unnecessary (and perhaps illegal) fire hazards?
Only a building inspector can tell you for sure.
To that end, even if it’s not legally required in your territory, hire an inspector at least annually to walk through your building. They can flag potential places where safety gates like the ones you can view here should be installed, where debris should be cleared and more.
5. Breaks Should Be Mandated
We’ve all worked in an environment where breaks were frowned upon and working overtime was an expectation. That mindset is antiquated and frankly, dangerous in an industrial workplace.
Working long hours without breaks leads to complacency and complacency leads to death.
Workers should be forced into their breaks if found working through them. They should also have their overtime opportunities limited to ensure that their productivity and awareness is always sharp.
6. Recognize Safety Evangelists
People like to be recognized for their hard work. That’s why we always advocate that your business celebrate people that are going above and beyond when it comes to workplace safety.
You can recognize these people by giving them a placard, calling them out in a meeting or by increasing their pay.
Closing Out Our Workplace Safety Tips for Industrial Companies
Instituting workplace safety tips is important no matter what line of business you’re in. It’s extra-important that you pay attention to workplace safety if you work in high-risk industries.
By taking the time to make workplace safety part of your company’s DNA, you’re going to save yourself money and even save lives.
If that’s not enough inspiration to put safety at the forefront of your to-do list, we don’t know what is.
Looking to get a deeper education on how you can streamline your business endeavors? If you are, do yourself a favor and dive deeper into the content pool that we have featured on our blog!