Staying Safe 24/7
Every June, the National Safety Council (NSC) celebrates National Safety Month to focus attention on reducing the leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road and in our homes and communities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace fatalities are on the rise, reaching 5,190 in 2016, the third consecutive annual increase and the first time in nearly a decade that the number has surpassed 5,000.
The pursuit of safety should be a priority at all times, not just during National Safety Month. Now is the perfect time to review your company’s safety policies and accident reporting procedures. Are you doing everything you can to keep your Team Members safe on the job? Being prepared is the number one defense against workplace injuries.
But what happens when your Team Members leave for the day? Is safety still a priority? It should be. The NSC reports that three times as many employees are injured off the job than while at work. And the cost of unintentional injuries exceeds $730 billion nationally or $6,200 per household. Employees need to bring home the safe practices they learn at work.
In keeping with this year’s themes: employee wellness, ergonomics, preventing slips, trips and falls and driving safety, here are 5 ways to keep injuries at bay both at work and at home:
- Take ladder safety to new heights. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, more than 90,000 people are hospitalized each year due to ladder-related accidents, and elevated falls account for more than 700 occupational deaths annually. Taking care to choose the correct ladder for the job, inspecting the ladder thoroughly to make sure it is in good working condition before using it and always maintaining three points of contact are important steps to take for ladder safety.
- Make sure Team Members know how to react to spills. Every Team Member should be trained to have a very clear understanding of how to react to spills and other potential hazards that may cause someone to fall. Spills and debris should be cleaned up immediately to prevent a fall. If an accident does occur, Team Members should know exactly what to do in an emergency situation.
- Eliminate back strain. Make sure all Team Members understand and practice the basic techniques for safe lifting, even if lifting is not a regular part of their job. Studies show that lower back pain is one of the world’s most common work-related disabilities. As part of a pro ergonomics initiative, facility managers should consider investing in equipment and tools that reduce worker fatigue and injuries while increasing productivity.
- Keep Your Cool. Impress upon Team Members the importance of staying hydrated, taking breaks and wearing lightweight clothing when working outdoors during the heat of the summer.
- Driving Safety. According to the NSC, in 2017, more than 40,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes with alcohol, speeding and distracted driving being the three biggest causes of fatalities. In response, many employers are adopting safe driving policies that include bans on cell phones while driving and offering defensive driving courses and programs for employees with alcohol or drug addictions. Of course, common sense safety measures, such as wearing a seatbelt, not texting while driving, pulling over to eat and drink and not driving when fatigued are all prudent rules to follow.
Keeping an eye on safety throughout the year will reduce accidents and injuries both at work and at home. At 4M, we pride ourselves on creating a safe working environment for our Team Members and our clients. CLICK HERE to learn how 4M Building Solutions delivers the best, innovative, safe and sustainable cleaning and service solutions for your business.