We all know that accidents can, and do, happen. According to the Oxford dictionary, an accident is “An unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury”. And unfortunately, many of these accidents happen in the workplace. As an employer or manager, no matter what the size of your company, your responsibility is to protect your employees from accidents that can threaten their health or wellbeing. But employees themselves also have an active responsibility to ensure that they are working in safe conditions.
Here are five best practice examples that anyone can – and should – follow to prevent workplace accidents.
Don’t cut corners
Of course, most people want to get job done on time, and profitability is often tied up with the ability to work quickly but trying to get the job finished ahead of time can lead to accidents.
- Don’t use shortcuts. Safety instructions and precautions may seem a bore, but they are there for a reason, so don’t ignore them!
- If a job is being done for the first time, or is done only rarely, make sure that safety instructions are (still) remembered and understood by those who carry out the work.
- Make sure tools, equipment and machinery are not damaged and you are using the correct tools for the job.
PPE is your friend, not your enemy
PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) comes in many guises, depending on the work you do. It can range from non-slip shoes or protective goggles to full face protection and uniforms and may include tools or aids as well. It may not always look glamorous, but it is there to make sure you are safe. Employers should make sure that PPE is not only provided, but is being worn, and being used correctly. Prove PPE training for your employees on a regular basis.
Be awake at work!
Many accidents can occur as a result of people not paying attention. Making sure you are alert and awake at work can help prevent accidents and injuries. Not only when focusing on your own work, but also spotting circumstances that may lead to an accident, such as seeing a stack of goods that looks like it may topple over, or spills resulting in a slippery surface.
Proper preparation prevents…
The old army slogan of the 5 P’s holds true even today. As an employer, make sure you instruct your employees properly on the use of tools and equipment needed to perform their job. As an employee, make sure you insist on proper training when being asked to take on a job that involves risks. Always remember that being unprepared may not only cause danger for you but can also lead to your colleagues being exposed to risk.
When the worst happens
A safe working environment can only be achieved with proper planning, education and regard for everyone’s safety. But if the worst should happen, much can depend on the ability of people to react properly and quickly. So make sure everyone in the workplace knows what to do in case of fire, accidents or other emergency situations. This may involve a combination of training courses, drills and adhering to a safety plan. Make sure your workplace is compliant with local health and safety regulations and all employees (whether there are two or two thousand) know what to do in an emergency.
REAL FIRST AID can make sure your employees have the skills to deal with real-life emergency situations. Forget stuffy classrooms and boring texts – this is first aid training for the modern age. Smoke, smells, fake blood and other props are used to engage participants and to ensure that the course is as close to real life as possible, which means better understanding and better chances to make life-saving interventions.
For more information on nationally recognised Real First Aid Courses and how you can equip your workplace with skills that are tailored to your business, call 1300744980 or visit www.realfirstaid.com.au.