From fall hazards to lockout/tagout procedures for managing hazardous energy, the season to be concerned about workplace safety never ends. That said, each month seems to demand a certain focus on seasonal issues. Flu shots, fire hazards, and dangerous road conditions for delivery drivers are some that capture our attention during the winter, and of course, planning for winter workplace safety needs to take place well ahead of the season’s onset.
Even as we are nearing the end of the 2016-2017 winter season, employers cannot relax their workplace safety training programs and adherence to safety procedures.
Planning for Workplace Safety Can Prevent Accidents, Reduce Fines
Many employers follow a monthly or quarterly schedule for safety training and equipment maintenance procedures. A comprehensive plan includes not only looking forward, such as scheduling training for new hires and longterm employees, but also reviewing the previous month’s logs to spot areas for improvement – before they lead to accidents.
Internal accident investigations are common, no matter how minor the accident or safety infraction. The fact is most employers understand that a safe and healthy workplace benefits employees and organizations, as accidents are costly in many ways.
What sets the best employers apart from the rest is the diligence and follow-up on those internal accident investigations.
Take a common winter hazard, such as electrical fires, which can be caused by any number of things (but often holiday decorations or an abundance of office space heaters). Fortunately, injuries and damages from such fire are usually minor. As a result, most employers log the event, offer some cursory information and education to employees, and move on.
The more diligent employers will either make changes immediately to prevent the problem from reoccurring next winter, or will schedule a review of all related policies for the following spring or summer safety meeting. That way, if new procedures, additional training, or new safety equipment needs to be installed, there is time to “work the plan” and ensure the next winter season is a safer one.
Planning for Winter 2017-2018?
While we can’t close the books on workplace safety for this winter yet, it’s not too early to make plans for next year.
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