Most businesses know that safety is one of the first issues they should focus on, but that doesn’t mean that all companies do everything they can do to ensure that everyone in the workplace is safe at all times. This is why it is vital that every supervisor stresses the importance of safety to his or her employees and then repeats the rules every month or so. People need to be reminded every so often how important it is that everyone follows the rules so there is never an unfortunate injury or even death in the workplace.
Here are some of the most basic guidelines that every workplace should follow:
Stacking and Storing Boxes
- Always put the heaviest boxes on a lower shelf and the lightest on top.
- All boxes should be stable at all times, so never stack too many on top of each other.
- If you plan to stack boxes on multiple levels, you need to have ladders, stools, and other equipment that will allow you to reach the highest level. You never want anyone to have to reach more than an arm’s length for high items.
Shelving Boxes and Pallets
- Every shelf should be labeled so employees know exactly how much weight can be stored on each one.
- Don’t allow anyone to use machinery close to shelving units. One of the most common accidents in the workplace is when shelves full of boxes and pallets are knocked over.
- Make sure that every shelf is secured so that there is no chance that they can fall once boxes are stacked on them.
Avoiding Trips and Falls
- Ladders should be made readily available for anyone who needs to reach a box on a higher shelf.
- None of the ladders or stools in the building should have any defects.
- No stools, ladders, or chairs should be used unless they are on level ground.
- Employees should never use boxes in place of ladders, stools, or chairs to reach higher shelves.
- Every path around shelves should be kept clear at all times to avoid trips and falls.
- Any wires or cords used in the workplace should be kept away from walkways.
- When employees are at their desks, they should never lean their chairs back or move their chairs into public walkways.
Using Bookshelves and Cabinets
- If cabinets are used in the office, they should not be placed in heavily congested areas.
- Just like on shelves, you need the heaviest items to be on top when placing them in cabinets or on bookshelves. Both could fall over if the weight isn’t evenly distributed.
- Make sure all cabinet drawers are closed when they are not in use.
- If you need to use more than one cabinet, only open one at a time so people don’t run into them when walking by.
- Any large bookshelves or cabinets should be securely fastened to the walls so they don’t tip over once items are placed in them.
Other Safety Tips
- Furniture with sharper corners or edges should be protected with either tape or other softening materials.
- Anything that pulls out, like desk drawers or bookshelves, should be pushed in unless they are being used.
- It’s imperative that anything that is spilled is cleaned up right away so people don’t slip. Someone should stay by the spill to warn others that it is there.
- Absolutely everything that is sharp in the office should be stored away when not in use.
- If there are tools that are meant for specific jobs in the workplace, they should never be substituted for something that is closer by. Using the wrong tools can lead to accidents.
- All vents in the workplace should be kept clean at all times. No shelves, bookcases, or desks should ever block the vents.
- If any employees see any pests in the workplace, they should let their supervisor know immediately so the problem doesn’t get worse.
- Any arguments or fights between employees should be stopped immediately to ensure the safety of everyone in the office.
All of these tips should be adhered to by everyone in the workplace no matter what their job may be. If only some people follow these safety guidelines, everyone is at risk of serious injury. Most people already know most of these guidelines, but it’s still important to post them where everyone can see them, and to go over each and every one of them with new employees.
Ronald Alexander’s experience as a journalist is as long as 10 years writing for newspapers, websites and magazines. He is currently working with Hilicom and is bit by the bug of researching and writing articles on industrial racks to ensure safety in the workplace.
Thank you so very much for this helpful article and we hope folks will take your advice. Might not be a bad idea to keep a first aid supply kit handy, just in case. pb