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Many workplaces that use disposable gloves often have many potential hazards that can endanger workers. But most of the concerns are preventable with the proper training, gear, and protocols. Here are the top workplace risks and how to best prevent them:
Keep Areas Free of Clutter to Prevent Falls
Did you know that falls are one of the most common workplace injuries? Of injuries where the height of the fall was reported, one in four fell from a height of 10 feet or less. This calls attention to the risks of falling from shorter heights, often not considered as frequently. Falling to a lower level regardless of the distance can cause potentially serious injuries. Falls often occur in areas that are cluttered, slippery, and have uneven flooring or improperly positioned ladders. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has regulations in place for fall protection in a variety of industries. Lack of knowledge can prevent the safety precautions from being used. To avoid falls you should ensure your company working areas are safe, free of clutter, and properly positioned for work. In addition, having employees wear shoe covers with rubberizes grips can provide additional traction.
Implement a Culture of Safety
Each company has unique risks that may be presented to employees. Having a team that creates effective safety training not only for your industry but also your company specifically can be a catalyst for great change. At the end of the day, the employees will be making the change. Workplace safety should be an area of focus for new employees as well as a frequent reminder for seasoned employees. We recommend conducting regular inspections to identify anything that could become potentially hazardous.
Keep Emergency Exits and Equipment Shutoff Accessible
Reducing clutter and keeping workspaces clear has multiple benefits, aside from reducing the risk of employee injury, it as makes emergency routes and exits more accessible. Having clear paths of exit is crucial to employee safety in the case of emergency. Maintaining clear access to emergency equipment shutoff is also key for those who work with large machinery.
Reduce Workplace Stress
Did you know that employees who are under a lot of pressure or stressed out are more likely to be injured on the job? When employees are putting in long, tiring hours, they tend to be less aware of their surroundings, making it easier for them to make a mistake. Having regular conversations between employees and managers that encourage talk regarding stress levels and workload can be a great starting point. Ensuring that regular breaks are being taken to give employees a chance to recharge is also important.
For those who pick up heavy items frequently, it is important to use the correct form; otherwise, lifting incorrectly can cause back injuries and chronic pain. Lifting slowly with the thighs and legs instead of the back will reduce the risk of injury. After picking up a heavy item, it is recommended to hold it close to the body. Whenever possible, use mechanical aids to reduce the likelihood of back injuries.
Train Workers on all Tools and Equipment
Heavy equipment and machinery can introduce risks into the workplace, especially when employees aren’t sure how to properly use it. Anyone who works with any type of machinery should receive proper training. Equipment should also be regularly checked to ensure it is in the proper working condition.
Report all Hazards Immediately
Safety is everyone’s responsibility. Encouraging employees to report any unsafe facility conditions can be a key factor in preventing injuries. Creating a good culture around safety increases the likelihood of reporting.
Understand Chemical Hazards
Workers in almost every industry encounter chemicals daily in one way or another. It is important for companies to maintain knowledge of the chemicals that are being used to best understand the health effects. There are some chemicals that have compound alternatives that present fewer health risks to employees. Janitorial and sanitation, automotive, and lab industries are a few of many that may be able to switch to less-hazardous chemicals, providing less-hazardous conditions to the environment and employees.
Use the Right Personal Protective Equipment for the Job
Nearly every industry has a health risk of some sort; however, in many industries the use of personal protective equipment is crucial to employee safety. All employees should be educated on the proper use of personal protective equipment. Having protective gear that fits well and is comfortable can lead to increased use. When it comes to disposable glove use for barrier protection, it is crucial to take the chemical and puncture resistance into account as well as fit and potential latex allergies. All personal protective equipment should be tested prior to implementing across an organization.