It’s not easy to create a safe work environment. There are several best practices and regulations companies must follow, regardless of the industry they’re in. Between years of experience and working on tight deadlines, employees may be tempted to take shortcuts at work.
While these shortcuts can potentially save time and money, it’s never a good idea. Shortcuts can be killers since overall safety is reduced. Not only do companies run the risk of being out of compliance with industry standards, but they’re also taking a chance with employee safety. Here are a few common time and work shortcuts to avoid.
Time and Work Shortcuts To Avoid
No matter the reasoning for taking them, there are shortcuts companies want to discourage to ensure the safety of everyone in the facility. Your own company can help compile more shortcuts to avoid by forming a workplace safety committee.
Quickly Lifting Objects
A study in 2001, conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that over 36% of workplace injuries were due to improper lifting techniques. The statistic doesn’t only apply to heavy loads, but also lighter ones.
Taking a shortcut by not wearing a back brace or lifting with your back instead of your knees, can save a little time. However, the risk of an injury is also increased. It also sets a poor example for other employees who might start taking the same shortcuts.
Skipping Required Breaks
Federal law requires employers to provide workers with scheduled breaks that include mandatory time for lunch. Even though employees are paid for all breaks, except mealtime, it’s not uncommon for people to skip them.
Workloads build up and workers feel that taking scheduled breaks will slow production down. What most employees don’t realize is these breaks are a proactive safety measure. Resting for a few minutes helps employees recharge, and skipping meals is an unhealthy habit. Giving your mind and body a few minutes to recover throughout the day helps to ensure everyone’s safety.
Ignoring “Close Calls”
All employee accidents and injuries must be reported by the company to its industry’s regulatory body. However, events that are loosely termed “close calls” don’t have to be reported. This makes it easy for companies to ignore.
Ignoring a near-miss, instead of addressing the issue is a shortcut companies don’t want to take. It should be treated as a learning experience so improved safety protocols can be implemented.
Improper Cleaning Techniques
Most facilities have a cleaning crew that comes through nightly when the building is closed. While this takes care of the daily trash, it’s not enough to keep everyone safe. Frequently touched areas need continual cleaning, especially if customers are coming through. It’s easy to take shortcuts when it comes to wiping these areas down, but it’s an unsafe practice that shouldn’t be encouraged.
No Clear Emergency Path
All facilities must have a functioning emergency exit with a clear path according to OSHA regulations. The doors must also be marked with easy-to-read neon signage. The regulations also specify that there must be a clear path to the exit.
This is an example of a shortcut that can be a killer. If there is an emergency and employees cannot quickly exit the building, it can result in loss of life. Blocked paths can slow the exit down and even halt it completely. The pathway may be a convenient place to store items but it also affects the safety of your employees.
Put Safety First With Work-Fit
You can save time and work with shortcuts, but it’s not worth the risk to employee safety. Skipping on cleaning or allowing staff to block the emergency exit in any way can endanger another employee.
At Work-Fit we can show you how to avoid taking shortcuts at work. Contact us to get started on a safety plan that doesn’t take shortcuts. You can also visit our website and browse through our offered services.