If you are part of a company that operates in a physically strenuous industry, it is critical that you, your employees, and anyone related to your operations avoid injuries for so many reasons. Safety can often take a back seat when performing monotonous or repetitive tasks. When you’ve performed the same physical actions for days, months, or years, it becomes second nature and muscle memory naturally begins to take over.
It’s important in these circumstances to give yourself and those around you a refresher to make sure you stay safe. Below are a few tips we’ve discussed with our clients in the past that you may encounter throughout your work day. Although some seem elementary, if you can keep these in the front of your mind, it will only increase your chance of having a long, safe, injury-free career.
1. Maintain Good Housekeeping. Clean spills and wet areas immediately. Sweep up debris and dust that may lead to trips or falls. Remove obstacles and clutter that may lead to accidents.
2. Practice Ladder Safety. Always face the ladder when ascending or descending. Don’t reach; get down and move the ladder. Keep metal ladders clear of electrical wiring.
3. Three Point Contact Rule. When getting in/out, off/on of a truck or vehicle, always maintain at least three points of contact: Two Hands and One Foot (or visa versa.) Slow, deliberate movements help avoid slips and falls from vehicles.
4. Wear Proper Footwear. Especially when dealing in sub-par conditions such as snow or ice, wear proper attire. If your boots are worn down, replace them. Again--slow, deliberate movements can help keep you safe.
5. Protect that Back. 33% of all Work Comp Payments are related to back injuries. Get close to what you’re lifting. The closer the load to your center line, the lower the strain imposed on your back.
6. Protecting the Back (Continued.) Consider INCREASING the load. Why? Pallets that are too heavy to lift by hand have to utilize machines, thereby dramatically reducing exposure to back injuries. When feasible, use mechanical assistance.
7. Use that Personal Protective Equipment. Hold each other accountable. It can be easy to forget to put on glasses or hearing protection. Trust us, you’ll thank each other down the road.
8. Keep Safety First. Be sure everyone on site knows where the First Aid Kit is located. Also make sure everyone knows where the closest Urgent Care or Hospital is just in case an injury occurs.
9. Falls Hurt. Be familiar with fall equipment if needed. Anything over six feet from ground level, take the extra minute and use your equipment. It can save your life.
10. Stay Grounded. Ensure that electrical tools are connected to a ground fault systems. It’s also helpful on working job sites to make sure that a grounding program is put in place.