Safety in Business

10 Safe Rules For A Safe and Healthy Workplace in 2022


Staying safe in the workplace can seem silly or unnecessary but every place of work has hazards that can cause serious harm to an employee.

Work Safety: Why is it Important?

Why Businesses should care


Safety is important to everyone in the workplace, both employers and employees. Before the implementation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), there were little to no workplace safety regulations. For example, employees were freely allowed to work in buildings with asbestos and lead paint, both of which are toxic substances. But since OSHA’s establishment in 1971, work-related illnesses, injuries, accidents, and fatalities have been cut by 60% (BLS).

Staying safe in the workplace can seem silly or unnecessary but every place of work has hazards that can cause serious harm to an employee. Everyone has responsibilities when it comes to workplace safety. Communication is key. Always follow procedures and polices that are implemented in your workplace. They are there to protect you.

 

Work-related injuries


Work-related injuries and illnesses can affect every aspect of life for workers and their families. Workplace injuries can lead to:

  • Loss of life
  • Loss of income and financial well being
  • Stress on relationships
  • Loss of job or career
  • Healthcare costs beyond what is covered by insurance

Employee’s Benefits


An employee should never compromise their health and safety to complete a job. Additionally, employers have a legal obligation to provide a workplace that is free from all known and unknown hazards. A safe and healthful workplace not only prevents employees from getting hurt, but it can also benefit the employer by:

  • Lowering injury and illness costs
  • Reducing employee turnover
  • Increasing productivity and quality
  • Raising the overall morale of the workplace

Workplace Safety Tips


There are many steps you can take to create a safe and healthful work environment. Two of the most important steps are to implement workplace safety programs, which will help to create safe working habits and practices and to provide proper safety training to employees.

Training is an important part of every company’s safety culture. Proper training can be the defining line between a workplace full of accidents and a workplace full of safe and healthy employees. The lack of knowledge about workplace hazards and proper work techniques causes over half of work-related accidents. Safety training is very important and required by OSHA. Once received, it is the employee’s responsibility to use the safety training to prevent incidents.

The key to implementing safety programs in the workplace is for everyone to share one objective: safety. Employers and employees have to commit together to create a safe workplace. Employers should investigate all accidents in the workplace and encourage employees to follow all safety policies. Employees should work hard to develop safe working habits and practices to further prevent accidents.

Safety Rules

10 Important Safety Rules

  

#1 – Everyone is Responsible

Safety benefits everyone. Therefore everyone should play a part in developing and maintaining a safe work environment. Employers can provide and encourage safety programs and training, and employees can follow all the policies and procedures to further the idea of safety within their workplace.


#2 – Stay Alert, Be Aware

It is impossible to avoid a hazard if no one knows it is there. This is why it is important for everyone to be alert and aware in the workplace. Being aware means knowing where you are and what is going on around you. Being alert means being clear-headed and focused enough to put safety at the forefront of your mind. Being both alert and aware puts you on your guard against danger. Once the hazard is identified, it can be handled properly, minimizing the risk of injury or death.

#3 – Communicate With Others

Communication is used to convey many different types of messages within the workplace. It is needed to ensure roles and direction, warn against dangers, and avoid unsafe practices. Effective communication helps create not only a safer workplace but also a healthier one by eliminating unnecessary problems and promoting teamwork. Employers who spend time and energy creating open communication lines can quickly build trust between themselves and their employees. Employees tend to give higher quality work and stay with a company for longer when they know their employer trusts them.

#4 – Utilize Your Training

Safety training aims to equip employees with all the skills needed to complete their job and to do so safely. It is a tool that can help employees identify safety hazards and know how to address, avoid, or report them. It also helps them to understand policies, procedures, and safety expectations.

#5 – Always Wear PPE

It is important for employees to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) because it minimizes risk and exposure to hazards that can cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses. Employers should always provide PPE for their employees as their situations require.

Consider this example: An employee was working for a landscaping company. The employer was a sole proprietor, meaning he was not a professional landscaper. He took on odd jobs and hired people he knew, paying them in cash. This employer was hired by a homeowner to remove about 36 trees. He hired a friend, employee #1, to help him.

One day, the employer was cutting down one of the trees with a chainsaw. Employee #1 and his coworker, Employee #2, were holding a rope that was tied around the top of the tree. They were doing this to guide the tree as it fell. When the tree began to fall, Employee #2 ran out of the way of the tree. Employee #1, however, wasn’t quick enough. He was hit by the tree and received fatal head trauma injuries. He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. According to the employer, neither employee had been provided with any type of personal protection equipment.

It is important to look at this example and consider what went wrong. What could have prevented Employee #1’s death? Employers have the responsibility to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and safety to their employees. Even if this employment was not considered “professional,” the responsibility remains. Had the employer provided PPE and training, Employee #1 would have had the skills and equipment to protect himself against that fatal blow.

#5 – Always Wear PPE

It is important for employees to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) because it minimizes risk and exposure to hazards that can cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses. Employers should always provide PPE for their employees as their situations require.

Consider this example: An employee was working for a landscaping company. The employer was a sole proprietor, meaning he was not a professional landscaper. He took on odd jobs and hired people he knew, paying them in cash. This employer was hired by a homeowner to remove about 36 trees. He hired a friend, employee #1, to help him.

One day, the employer was cutting down one of the trees with a chainsaw. Employee #1 and his coworker, Employee #2, were holding a rope that was tied around the top of the tree. They were doing this to guide the tree as it fell. When the tree began to fall, Employee #2 ran out of the way of the tree. Employee #1, however, wasn’t quick enough. He was hit by the tree and received fatal head trauma injuries. He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. According to the employer, neither employee had been provided with any type of personal protection equipment.

It is important to look at this example and consider what went wrong. What could have prevented Employee #1’s death? Employers have the responsibility to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and safety to their employees. Even if this employment was not considered “professional,” the responsibility remains. Had the employer provided PPE and training, Employee #1 would have had the skills and equipment to protect himself against that fatal blow.

#6 – Use The Proper Tools

Using the right tools is imperative for the completion of any job. The proper tools allow employees to complete their job safely and efficiently. Each tool is precisely designed for a specific purpose. Because of this, if an employee is not using a tool for its designed purpose, it creates a safety risk in the workplace.

Using proper tools also means making sure your tools are well-maintained and up-to-date. Outdated tools and equipment can also create serious hazards within the workplace.

#7 – Keep Work Areas Clean

A clean workspace helps minimize injuries by preventing slips, trips, and falls. You can keep your workspace clean by wiping up spills, removing obstacles, securing any mats or rugs, covering cords, and keeping all areas well lit. These are all vital steps for reducing injuries in the workplace. Depending on the work environment, any fall, even from floor level, can be fatal if the area is cluttered and messy. Bacteria also thrive in unsanitary work environments. Therefore, a clean workplace can also reduce the chances of employees getting sick.

#8 – Report Accidents

Employers and employees can learn from each accident that is reported. Workplace hazards can be more easily identified and corrected or eliminated when employees report them immediately. This can efficiently prevent similar incidents and injuries from happening multiple times.

#9 – Don’t Operate Tools or Machinery You Haven’t Been Trained For

Without safety training, an employee is at risk of losing an appendage or even their life depending on the tool or machine they use. Machinery accidents can result in severe injuries such as:

  • Crushed or broken bones
  • Severe lacerations
  • Major concussions
  • Death
  • Consider this example: An employee was hired as an electrician for a construction company building houses. This employee told them he had some experience installing electrical equipment, so his employer assumed he did not need any additional training. The employee, though he did have some experience, was a little rusty. Later on, while changing out a light fixture, the employee touched some exposed energized wiring and was electrocuted. He was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead.

    The employee, though he had a background in electrical work, was still untrained. It’s important for managers to assess all the possible risks a job presents before assigning employees to that job. Had this employee known the risks and procedures of his job, he could have taken the correct steps to protect himself.

    #10 – Help Reduce Workplace Stress

    Employers and employees can learn from each accident that is reported. Workplace hazards can be more easily identified and corrected or eliminated when employees report them immediately. This can efficiently prevent similar incidents and injuries from happening multiple times.

    Stress negatively affects employees as well as the company as a whole. Reducing stress can have a positive impact on the overall morale of the work environment. Both employers and employees can take steps in reducing work-related stress. Some of those steps include:

    1. Encouraging healthy workplace habits like taking walks on lunch breaks and providing healthy snacks in the office.
    2. Allow for flexible work hours if possible. There are many workplaces where quotas need to be met and because of that, it is a very fast-paced environment. Because of this,
    3. it may not be possible for everyone. If this is not possible, utilize the next step.
    4. Ensure that your employees have a place where they can go on a break and alleviate stress in a fast-paced environment.
    5. Encourage social activity within your team. Doing so will help to provide comfort within a work environment.
    6. Recognize your employees’ contributions. Giving rewards to successful and determined employees will help motivate them to continue taking their tasks seriously.

    Safety Procedures

    Safety Procedures


    While safety rules tell employees what they can and cannot do, safety procedures show them how to do something while also communicating expectations. Besides the obvious benefit of keeping employees safe, safety procedures can also assist in certifications, protect the business from legal liability claims, and motivate employees to be more efficient. A few examples of safety procedures are listed below:

    • Emergency procedures
    • Chemical safety
    • First aid
    • Equipment safety
    • Fire safety
    • Electrical safety

    What is EHS?


    EHS is an acronym that stands for Environment, Health, and Safety. It generally refers to laws and regulations that promote safety inside a workplace. The “E” of EHS indicates the regulations that are designed to protect the environment. The “H” refers to the health of the employees in the workplace, and the “S” stands for the safety of those employees. Generally the “H” and “S” are combined and then regulated by the same agency, in this case, that agency would be OSHA.

    Many countries use different acronyms to convey these same concepts and principles. But in the US, it is most commonly abbreviated as EHS.

    Why Is EHS So Important?

    Protect environment & employees


    EHS is important for two reasons. It protects the environment, and it protects employees.

    EHS departments, along with their corresponding policies, are enabling companies to conduct business in an environmentally-responsible manner. Many industries such as heavy equipment manufacturers produce valuable products that impact the cleanliness of the air, water, and land. EHS departments have a goal of managing compliance with the vast array of environmental laws that are implemented to protect all environmental resources.

    The Safety and Health components of EHS are equally as important because they are meant to protect employees from any hazards that can be found within their workplace. All employers throughout the United States are bound by a general duty to protect their employees from hazards that can cause injuries or fatalities.