Many of the injuries that occur on our various sites are caused by workers making common safety mistakes that could have been prevented.
Common Safety Mistakes:
• Lack of housekeeping: It may seem simple, but a messy work area makes a work environment unsafe. Pallet banding lying on the ground, spilled oil and obstructed walkways all result in injuries.
• Not using Lockout / Tag out on equipment needing repair: A lot of injuries are caused by the failure to lockout /tag out equipment and machinery needing repair. It is imperative to disable the equipment as soon as someone knows it is not functioning properly. This will ensure the equipment does not cause injury or create an unsafe work environment.
• Improper use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): It is a common, yet incorrect, practice to wear goggles around the neck, or to put hearing protection in improperly. A walk around the shop might find face shields that are scratched to the point where visibility is poor.
All of these are examples of failures in the proper use of Personal Protective Equipment. PPE is the last line of defence in protecting the employee. Therefore, the improper use of PPE, or failure to maintain and replace defective PPE, increases the likelihood of injury.
• Not having a process or plan: Most workplace injuries occur when work being done is not part of a normal process. It is important to have a work plan for non-process work. No matter how it is done, planning the work and asking “What if?” questions will help identify hazards and implement controls to prevent injuries.
• Failure to communicate: One of the easiest things to prevent unsafe conditions is to discuss what hazards or unsafe acts have been noticed. Communicating the hazards and failures in processes is an essential element of protecting ourselves and our co-workers from the hazards that potentially exist in the workplace.