Preventing Workplace Fatalities

Employers and employees regularly work together to try to reduce or hopefully eliminate as many work-place injuries as possible.  No one wants to get hurt, and no employer wants their employees to sustain an injury.  Despite strong efforts, work-place injuries still happen, and in some very unfortunate incidences, the employee could even be killed as a result of an incident in the work-place.  Luckily since the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was formed, the number of work-place fatalities has plummeted from an average of almost forty fatal injuries a day to twelve.  It is essential that employers continue to strive to prevent workplace fatalities.

Creating strict protocols regarding safety equipment should be essential.  Employers should be vigilant in making sure all employees use any and all safety equipment every time it is necessary, and also that the equipment is used in the proper manner.  Creating a sense of mutual responsibility between the employees will help ensure this.  For example, some employers will make incentive programs that will allow for employees to earn certain rewards if they demonstrate a long-term compliance with these equipment regulations.

Employers should also make sure that hazards are eliminated as quickly as possible.  If broken or dangerous equipment cannot be fixed right away, it should not be used until it can be fixed properly.  It may seem like the employer is “losing money” because equipment is down, but this is far preferable to an employee being injured or killed while using equipment the employer knew to be dangerous.  Employers should also employ a zero-tolerance policy of leaving unnecessary clutter in high-traffic or production areas as these are a clear danger for people to fall.

Employers should create a strict training protocol, especially in terms of heavy machinery use and safety equipment.  Employees should not be permitted to operate dangerous machines without all of the proper safety instruction.  Similarly, if the employee has not been trained to reduce risks to him or herself through the accurate use of safety equipment, they should not be allowed to continue on the job. In other words, proper safety training should be priority one after a new employee is ready to begin work.

If you have questions about your business and its responsibilities in terms of preventing accidents, contact me today at (714) 516-8188.  We can discuss your business and how to protect your employees.

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