Workplace Safety Can Be As Simple as ABP – Always Be Prepared
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2011 nearly 3.0 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported by private industry employers. The total direct and indirect costs associated with these injuries and illnesses were estimated to be $155.5 billion, or nearly 3 percent of gross domestic product. Although we cannot completely stop on-the-job injury and illness, employee safety is something that all employers should take seriously. In addition to the moral, ethical, and economical reasons, employers are bound by the regulations set forth by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA).
Here are a few areas of workplace safety where if we take the proper precautions and care, preventable instances can be avoided:
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): refers to protective items designed to protect the wearer from injury. The hazards addressed by protective equipment include physical, electrical, heat, chemicals, biohazards, and airborne particulate matter. Employers should provide items such as safety goggles/glasses, hats, gloves, ear plugs, harnesses, masks and more free of charge to ensure their workers are as safe as possible.
Emergency Preparedness Kits: On the job emergencies can happen quickly, and there may not be time to think. Employers should plan ahead by developing an Emergency Action Plan, which includes a first aid kit that is properly stocked and easily accessible. While most kits contain medical items like bandages, gauze, adhesive tape, antiseptic applications and burn cream, to be fully prepared, your workplace kit should also include batteries, a light stick, a radio and other items in case of an unforeseen disaster.
Traffic Safety: It’s common knowledge that roadside work requires the use of barricades and traffic cones. However, every business — from an office environment, to a factory to a restaurant, hospital, school and more –should have these safety items in stock to direct traffic or block off hazardous areas. Indoors, traffic cones can be used to signal wet floors, cordon off areas where renovations are being performed, or keep foot traffic away from other restricted areas during busy periods. In parking lots, they alert patrons and employees to potholes or other hazards and help with traffic flow during events.