Different workplace settings have varying safety risk levels depending on the nature of the job, products, and even services that companies provide. Some of the most common examples of workplace accidents include slips, falls, and construction and machinery-related, like transportation and power tools.
In the United States, 4,764 fatal work injuries were recorded in 2020, in which an employee died every 111 minutes. While these data are lower than in the previous years, it still pays off to take strict workplace safety measures to avoid losing lives and facing legal matters, which can compromise the business.
In this article, you’ll learn the different ways to promote better workplace safety in 2022.
1. Safety Gear And Equipment
Old, worn-out safety gear and equipment need replacement. Workers should wear durable and reliable personal protective equipment (PPE) that can withstand the harsh elements that workers are likely exposed to.
Checking the company’s PPEs and other safety tools and equipment is a must thing to accomplish every year. Investing in sophisticated and newer safety systems provides more additional benefits to companies in terms of employee retention, operations, and other business aspects.
Take a look at the following safety gear and equipment companies should consider investing in 2022:
- PPEs: Some examples include head protection (hard hats), eye and face protection (goggles, masks, and shields), hand and arm protection (gloves), foot and leg protection, and respiratory protection, such as respirator or breathing apparatus for confined spaces or highly toxic work areas.
- Safety Devices: A safety belt, fire extinguisher, and burglar alarm are examples of safety devices that reduce damage or loss from an accident, break-in, or fire.
- Machine Safety Features: When operating heavy types of machinery, some of the safety features to check to include safety limit switches and guard interlock switches to shut power off when safety risks or dangerous situations arise.
2. Fall Protection Inspection
The goal of a fall protection inspection is to ensure that company equipment and systems remain in optimal condition. Some fall protection solutions that reputable providers offer include fall arrest system design, system installation, employee training, and safety inspection.
Companies, especially those with a workplace setting at high risk for falls, like construction sites, should have a versatile fall protection partner.
Here are the components of a fall protection inspection:
- General Safety Assessment: Inspectors will hand-inspect your equipment and system for defective parts and functional issues.
- OSHA Compliance Check: Inspectors should ensure that companies comply with the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), such as equipment guidelines and manufacturer’s instruction compliance.
- Detailed Reporting: Professional fall protection inspectors provide documentation about the condition of fall prevention equipment and systems, documenting all the necessary repairs and providing a system safety report and cost estimate for repairs.
3. Workplace Safety Policy Review
Was there any workplace accident reported this year? If you had any incidents of falls, slips, or any fatal workplace accident reported the previous years, it’s a must to review your safety policy for any gaps.
An effective workplace safety policy is created according to the objectives or goals of the company, involving senior management. It should be aligned and relevant to the OSHA guidelines and the workplace’s nature and safety risks.
Consultation with workers and the health and safety representative or committee should be done before writing or modifying the workplace safety policy. In this way, both the employer and the employees agree with the content. The senior executive signs the policy statement for enforcement.
It is recommended that when writing a workplace safety policy, it should:
- have arrangements, including safety meetings, occupational hygiene, education and training, and safe working procedures;
- address workplace hazards according to the tasks and current hazards; and
- discuss ongoing and active employee participation to help achieve their objectives.
4. Employee Training
One of the best ways to promote better workplace safety in 2022 is employee training. Aside from ensuring physical safety, protecting business data should be a part of a company’s safety and security measures.
For instance, a data breach may result because of shallow cybersecurity, compromising the entire business. Employees should have extensive training across all safety and security business aspects to avoid major issues, like cybersecurity attacks. The training can also cover physical injuries associated with a lack of knowledge on how to operate machinery, equipment, or power tool.
Extensive employee training may include the following:
- Proper use of safety gear and other tools and equipment
- Proper operation of heavy machinery and power tools
- How to secure the workplace or business establishment
- How to protect passwords and documents
- Reporting suspicious activities
- Instruction on confidentiality agreements
5. Workplace Safety Technology Implementation
Advanced technologies pave the way to better workplace safety. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, agile software development, and other similar technologies bring more discoveries to help ensure the safety of workers in different workplace settings.
Some of the innovative workplace safety technologies include the following:
- Wearables: These devices are worn on the body. Wearables attached to PPE and clothing have sensors that record environmental hazards and vital signs, such as heart rate and breathing.
- Robotics: Robots are programmable machines that can carry out complex and dangerous tasks, eliminating the need for a human to perform hazardous work.
- Mobile Apps And Software Programs: Digital platforms can help manage, analyze, track, and report safety processes, including mobile inspection audits, compliance-related functions, and risk management.
- Others: Sensors, detectors, virtual reality, augmented reality, and exoskeletons are other emerging technologies in workplace safety.
These workplace safety technologies may still be in their primitive years. However, innovative technologies are known to be fast-paced. Thus, it’s imperative to prepare and stay ahead by considering how these technologies can be highly beneficial to your company. In this way, you can set your business apart from your competitors and become one of the first companies to adopt these safety technologies.
Workplace safety should be everyone’s priority, most especially employers. Neglecting this crucial aspect may result in grave legal and business consequences. Hence, fall prevention inspection, creating more stringent workplace safety policies, and adopting technological innovations are vital in promoting better workplace safety in 2022.