9 Ways To Keep Workers Safe In The Workplace

Why is workplace safety important? Because it can save lives and reduce injuries, illnesses, and costs to employers. It’s also a legal requirement in all Australian states.

Workers are exposed to many hazards every day at work. Some of these hazards include:

  • Electrical shock – This occurs when an electrical current passes through the body. If you touch live wires or equipment, you could get shocked.
  • Falls from heights – Falling off ladders, scaffolds, roofs, etc., can cause serious injury or death.
  • Burns – A burn may occur if something hot touches your skin, such as a pot of boiling water.
  • Chemical exposure – Exposure to chemicals can be dangerous for workers. They can affect their health and lead to illness.
  • Heat stress – High temperatures can be harmful to your health. You can become overheated while working on a job site.
  • Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) – MSDs are common among construction workers. These conditions can range from minor aches to more severe problems like carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Noise-induced hearing loss – Loud noises can damage your ears over time.
  • Radiation exposure – You can get radiation poisoning by being near nuclear reactors or other sources that emit radiation.
  • Scaffolding falls – Working on tall structures can put you at risk of falling.
  • Slip and fall accidents – Slipping and falling can result in serious injuries.
  • Vibration – Vibrations can cause pain and discomfort.

Use Equipment, Machines, and Tools Properly

When it comes to power tools, there are many different types of machines and tools out there. Some work better than others depending on what you want to do. If you don’t know how to use a certain machine or tool, you could end up causing damage to yourself or someone else.

Avoid Tracking Hazardous Materials

The Australian government’s workplace safety regulations require employers to provide workers with personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE includes clothing, eye protection, gloves, footwear, respiratory devices, and protective shields. Workers must maintain their PPE throughout the duration of their employment. They are responsible for cleaning up spills and disposing of hazardous materials. Employees should never handle chemicals without proper training and safety gear.

Hazardous materials include solvents, acids, alkalis, caustics, flammables, oxidizers, corrosives, radioactive substances, biological agents, and explosives. These items pose serious health risks to employees handling them. If you do come into contact with any of these materials, immediately wash them off with soap and water and seek medical attention.

If you find yourself working near these materials, take precautions to protect yourself. Wear appropriate PPE such as gloves, goggles, boots, aprons, and coveralls. Keep your hands away from open containers. Use ventilation systems to prevent inhalation. Clean up spills immediately.

Prevent Slips and Trips

Slips and trips are common causes of injuries in the workplace. They can happen anywhere, anytime, and affect anyone. In fact, one out of every five workers suffers an injury due to slipping or tripping.

Preventing slips and trips requires taking several steps. First, you must inspect your work area regularly and ensure there are no hazards present. Second, you must keep floors free of debris. Third, you must use appropriate footwear and clothing. Finally, you must provide adequate lighting and signage.

Inform Supervisors of Unsafe Conditions

Your employer should provide safety training for all employees who work in hazardous conditions, such as those involving electricity, chemicals, machinery, or heights. If you see something that could potentially harm someone else, do not hesitate to inform your supervisor. You are legally required to report anything that poses a risk to others.

If you think there is a problem with the workplace, talk to your supervisor.

Use Correct Posture when Lifting

Lift heavy loads with correct posture. When you lift something, keep your back straight and don’t bend forward. This helps prevent injury and strain on your lower back. If you’re lifting a load over your head, make sure that your feet are shoulder-width apart. You’ll find that it’s easier to hold something overhead if your knees are slightly bent. Also, try to avoid bending your knees too much. Instead, use your legs to help support the weight.

Wear Safety Equipment (PPE)

Make sure you wear the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when working around hazardous materials, such as acids, caustics, flammables, gases, oxidizers, pressurized fluids, solvents, toxic chemicals, or radioactive substances. You must use proper safety equipment to protect yourself from these hazards.

Check your PPE before starting your job and keep it clean and dry. Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately after handling hazardous materials or dangerous machinery, and before eating, drinking, smoking, or applying cosmetics. Keep PPE away from food, beverages, tobacco products, and pets. If you are exposed to bloodborne pathogens, report the incident to your supervisor and follow workplace safety regulations regarding reporting incidents.

Wear the appropriate PPE while doing your job. For example, you must wear eye protection when operating power tools, welding machines, grinding machines, or cutting torches; ear plugs or hearing protection devices when working near loud noises; gloves when mixing or stirring hot liquids; and hard hats when working overhead.

Keep Work Areas and Emergency Exits Clear

If you are working in a warehouse, keep work areas and emergency exits clean and free of clutter. This includes keeping tools stored properly and making sure there is enough space for workers to maneuver without tripping over things. If you are working in a factory, make sure there are no hazardous materials nearby.

Eliminate Fire Hazards

  • Keep combustibles stored safely away from sources of ignition.
  • Store combustibles in designated containers.
  • Clean up combustible waste regularly.

Prevent Objects from Falling

To keep objects from falling, you must make sure they are properly secured. If you don’t do it, they could fall off shelves, onto people, or even damage equipment. Here are some tips to help you prevent objects from falling.

  • Use Protection
    • Use safety netting, toe boards, or toe rails to protect against falls. These devices provide support for items like shelving units, pallets, and trays. They’re especially useful for preventing large loads from crashing into walls or hitting employees.
  • Stack Boxes Straight Up and Down
    • When stacking boxes, stack them straight up and down. This prevents one box from sliding over another, causing the entire load to topple.
  • Keep Stacked Items Out of the Aisle and Work Area
    • Keep stacked items out of the aisle and the work area. This keeps them away from employees, customers, and merchandise. You’ll also avoid creating tripping hazards.

How Spire Safety Can Help With a Safe Workplace In Australia

We can help you create a safe workplace by providing:

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