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Monday, January 22, 2018

Guest Post: 3 Common Safety Mistakes in the Workplace

Safety is not as complicated as it truly seems. Many mistakes in the workplace are easily avoidable. Do you manage or run a business that finds itself overwhelmed by accidents and incidents and do not know where to begin? There is good news. Three common mistakes in the workplace that jeopardize safety are often very avoidable and easy to contain. Ignoring minor injuries, not employing a safety-first mindset and fatigued/dehydrated personnel are three common influences that can be easily remedied. Here is how:

1.       Ignoring Minor Injuries – No injury is minor. Whether it is a sprain, strain or simple cut, all injuries must be evaluated and assessed appropriately. It begins with proper antiseptic and antibiotic treatments of cuts to avoid infection as these can result in catastrophic consequences if unabated. Furthermore, working with a sprain or strain can only intensify the injury if it is not given the appropriate rest, isolation, compression and attention. It is imperative to utilize the appropriate first aid practices if you find any employee hurt or injured no matter how small.

2.       Not Employing A Safety-First Mentality – This may seem like a repetitive principle but nonetheless it holds truth. Safety-first is more than a mentality, it is a way of life. It is an attitude that implores personnel to think of safety before anything else in the workplace. This often transforms and transcends leading to best practices that result in a transformative culture. A safety-first mentality means assuring protocols are observed, standards are met and behaviors are fostered. Failing to do so often leads to complacency which leads ultimately to an increase in avoidable accidents, incidents and injuries as a result of a lax attitude towards overall safety. Don’t slip up and don’t let up on being safety champions.

3.       Fatigued and Dehydrated Employees – This is a matter that is often overlooked and in many cases understated so we will once again reiterate the fact that it is a serious issue that can yield potentially deadly outcomes. The greatest obstacle most workers face is fatigue and dehydration. The sad truth is this can be easily avoided. A tired or dehydrated forklift operator or general laborer is far more likely to get injured, endure heat stroke or even improperly handle any material hazardous or otherwise. This can ultimately place all other workers at risk.  It is essential that management and leadership implore and champion the appropriate frequency of breaks to ensure all workers are hydrated and ready to perform. This is especially true on hot summer days where it is imperative to take frequent breaks and drink enough water over the course of the day. In addition, it is also prudent for all employees to attempt to sleep eight hours per night to assure adequate energy for the next work day. While this cannot be enforced it should be promoted. Assuring workers also get adequate time to recover and replenish through food is also another safeguard that should be taken seriously.

About the Author: Tom Reddon is a forklift specialist and blog manager for the National Forklift Exchange. He also sits on the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA) Executive Dialogue team. Follow him on Twitter at @TomReddon.

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