No one should ever have to work in an unsafe environment. That’s why we’re dishing out our best tips for workplace safety in this guide.

We’ll cover everything from running emergency drills and wearing the right protective gear to using machinery how it’s supposed to be used. Our mission is to assist you and your colleagues or employees stay safe while on the job with a few practical tips.

Plus, we’ll also break down the top five workplace dangers that you need to steer clear of to avoid any nasty workplace accidents or injuries.

Keep reading to find out how to make your workspace safer.

Why is workplace safety important?

Workplace safety isn’t just important; it’s essential. It lets the staff work with a much lower risk of getting hurt or ending up in accidents, and it ensures companies follow the law by providing a secure working environment. While it’s the employer’s responsibility to create a safe workplace, it’s equally important for each team member to practice safe habits and avoid putting others at risk.

Having a safe workplace is very beneficial from a business standpoint as well. Safe practices can increase productivity and create a happier team. Plus, you’ll reduce the risk of workplace accidents, which can be harmful or even deadly. Dangerous accidents can also cause legal problems, damage your reputation, and lead to substantial downtime, not to mention the financial cost. Most importantly, prioritizing workplace safety proves that a company genuinely cares about its employees’ health and well-being, which can earn you their loyalty and trust.

Workplace safety tips include: following safety trainings; utilize safety equipment; keep your workplace clean and well-maintained; perform annual safety inspections; keep safety records; use machinery and equipment properly; and only work with healthy. Dangers to avoid: working without proper fall protection; bypassing respiratory protection when working with toxic dust, fumes, etc.; working while under the influence of drugs or alcohol; improper exposure to chemical or biological hazards; and accidental or unplanned machinery startup during repair or maintenance work.

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How can I stay safe at work?

Whether you are an employee or an employer, there are numerous things you can do to help yourself and others stay safe at work. Here are our top workplace safety tips:

1. Conduct safety trainings and run emergency drills

It is better to be ready for a situation before it occurs than to wait until something terrible happens. By conducting safety training, you can ensure everyone knows the potential hazards and how to avoid them. Employers can make safety training more engaging by having practical, real-world exercises alongside the typical safety videos, lectures, or documents. Depending on your line of work, certain training sessions may be legally required. 

Emergency drills ensure everyone knows how to respond to an accident. They should also cover what to do if a fire occurs, which includes showing employees where fire extinguishers are located, how to evacuate to the safety exits, and more. Preparing for these events in a low-stress environment ensures panic and confusion don’t break out if an incident occurs.

2. Use safety equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE)

Businesses must provide the protective equipment their staff needs to stay safe in the workplace. Depending on the job and role, this often includes wearable gear like high-visibility jackets, goggles, gloves, boots, helmets, masks, and respirators. In addition, mechanical aids such as forklifts, cranes, conveyor belts, sack trucks, and hand trolleys should be available for jobs that require heavy lifting. When such equipment is in use, appropriate safety equipment must be on-hand to ensure the safe operation of those machines.

While an employer should provide as much safety gear as possible, it’s also critical that the employees themselves use the appropriate gear at all times to avoid injury or harm.

3. Keep the workplace well-maintained

Facility maintenance is a huge component of workplace safety. This can involve a range of things, such as ensuring the space is clean and hygienic, equipment and machinery are well-maintained and in good working order, and clutter is removed.

Doing so will ensure faulty machinery, trip hazards, or harmful substances do not injure employees or visitors. Maintenance and custodial work should be performed consistently and documented by internal staff, third-party specialists, or a combination of both.

4. Perform annual safety inspections

Conducting annual safety inspections can also ensure your workplace meets the necessary safety standards.

A safety inspection will check many aspects of your business, such as whether first aid kits are stocked, adequate safety signage, equipment meets regulations, smoke and fire alarms are working, and security systems are fully functional, among others. You can also use inspection management software to plan inspections regularly, assign work orders to relevant maintenance crews, and document findings.

You can also create an annual safety inspection checklist to ensure all vital procedures are inspected and followed.

5. Keep safety records

Keeping safety records helps the company and staff monitor day-to-day operations and learn from past mistakes or accidents. They also prove that your facility follows all safety and security best practices according to the law and company policies. Therefore, these records should be well organized, appropriately stored, and easily accessible.

Safety records can be kept on computers, tracked in facility maintenance software, or paper and should track details and dates on things like safety inspections, training, meetings, and more. Maintenance and checks on machinery and equipment should also be recorded, along with details on any accidents, injuries, or other incidents that occur at the workplace.

6. Use machinery and equipment correctly

Proper use of equipment, machinery, and tools is key to preventing injuries and accidents. Staff must be trained and experienced in using tools as they’re meant to be used.

This includes wearing a respirator around dust or fumes, using sack trolleys instead of straining yourself with heavy lifting, and donning goggles to shield your eyes when necessary. Train employees regularly and post signs around equipment storage so instructions for proper use are always easy to find.

7. Prioritize physical health

Taking care of your physical health can do wonders for workplace safety, and there are plenty of ways to do it. Simple things like staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, and eating healthy can boost your productivity and performance to keep you alert, making work safer for you and your coworkers.

It’s also important to practice good posture when lifting, take regular breaks, and avoid pushing yourself to exhaustion. And remember, staring at screens for too long can strain your eyes and your back, so get up and walk around when you need to.

8. Remember, mental health is equally important

Taking care of your team’s mental health is vital for workplace safety. When team members are less stressed and mentally sound, they’re more focused, communicate more effectively, have greater job satisfaction, and handle tough situations more resiliently. Mental wellness also staves off fatigue and exhaustion, which could cause accidents.

Employers can step up by fostering a supportive work environment, offering mental health resources, and ensuring nobody is burnt out. Remember, both employers and employees need to take breaks and look out for each other.

Workplace dangers to avoid

When it comes to workplace safety, potential dangers should be avoided at all costs. You should never feel pressured nor encourage others to do tasks when these dangers are present:

1. Inadequate fall protection or scaffolding

This is one of the most common OSHA violations in the workplace. Workers should avoid open edges without guardrails, inadequate scaffolding, holes, working on steep roofs without fall protection, unsecured ladders, or anything else that could result in a fall accident. Check with OSHA to determine the applicable guidelines for your industry and location.

2. Failure to wear respiratory protection

Although safety masks or respirators might feel uncomfortable, when toxic dust, fumes, or harmful agents are present, they must be worn. This is especially true on construction sites, in manufacturing facilities, or in healthcare buildings. The inhalation of respiratory hazards can lead to severe health problems and long-term issues.

3. Drug or alcohol use

It goes without saying, but substance use has no place at work. Operating machinery and using equipment or tools while under the influence of drugs or alcohol increases the risk of an injury or accident many times over. If an employee is suspected of working while intoxicated, remove them from the workplace immediately and handle the issue accordingly.

4. Chemical or biological hazards

Chemical hazards like flammable materials, solvents, or cleaning products can cause health problems ranging from skin irritation to blindness if handled improperly. Biological threats like bacteria, viruses, or animal droppings can also cause illnesses. Protective equipment, proper labeling on hazardous materials, and adequate training can all help mitigate these risks.

5. No lockout/tagout (LOTO)

LOTO is a safety step that prevents the unexpected startup of machinery during repair work or maintenance. It turns off the machine and puts a lock or tag on it to stop it from accidentally hurting someone. A lack of LOTO procedures in the workplace could make a bad situation even worse.

FMX supports workplace safety

Keeping your workplace safe can be time-consuming and overwhelming. You need to track equipment service dates, plan asset and facility inspections, train employees, report and address safety concerns, and more. Something is bound to slip through the cracks without a proper system in place. 

That’s where FMX comes in.

FMX facilities management software's incident request form shows an open health and safety check to help enforce and improve workplace safety.

Our facilities management software can help you set proactive maintenance schedules and receive and dispatch work order tickets for complete routine maintenance oversight. And to ensure communication is clear across the company, use our asset management features to view work history, store user manuals, and generate reporting dashboards for future planning.

With a complete management system in place, you can effectively follow all applicable workplace safety tips to protect everyone under your roof.

Interested in booking a demo to learn more about FMX? We’d love to discuss how our software can help improve workplace safety.

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