More and more our work is focused internationally, and with it being workplace safety month in the US it triggered us into thinking about workplace safety. Not only do we have a duty of care to our employees in the UK, but when we are visiting other countries and sites we need to be mindful of the situation we are placing ourselves in.
In this blog we outline some universal considerations, ones that keep both our staff and customers in the best position when it comes to workplace safety.
Lifting - If in doubt get help
All too often we are faced with situations where we cannot be sure if it is safe to lift something. These are exactly the situations that call for a discussion with colleagues, and usually ones that will require more than one person to be involved, and/or lifting machinery. If you need to think about it, stop and get some help. All it takes is a wrong movement, and something gets dropped, and if something gets dropped it can cause serious damage to you and the product. It is just not worth the risk. If you can lift the product safely and know how to do so i.e. keeping back straight, bending your knees then proceed, if you have any doubt then stop.
In this covid age I think we are all a lot more comfortable with the notion of PPE. After all, we have been walking around wearing masks for the last year!
Remember the basics of the production/engineering environment which includes work boots with reinforced toe, eye protection, ear protection, head protection and hand protection. Specialist work may also require specialist equipment and you should be in no doubt in such situations, but if you are, ask your foreman/line manager.
If you are not trained in a specific area or piece of machinery then you have no business operating it. In our industry we use specialised equipment that sometimes needs years of training and experience to understand and operate. Training should be part and parcel of your working practice, and this includes training in health and safety. Well trained individuals help us give the best possible service to each other and our customers.
Make the environment safe
Empty the bins regularly, don't leave newspapers and drinks on benches, ensure the changing rooms are clean and hygienic. Basic stuff, but unfortunately sometimes the basic stuff is often ignored. Having a well ordered, clean and structured environment speaks volumes about the approach to safety. Don't leave it for someone else, clean, pick up and remain structured in your work and it will pay dividends.
Listen to your staff
If staff members are suggesting ways to improve the workplace or a process that impacts upon safety then it should not be ignored. Take stock, discuss, and where appropriate/sensible implement. There are countless stories that we hear about employees or customers raising red flags regarding safety only to be ignored. It is better to discuss something and to put an intervention in place than to pick up the pieces after an accident.
We hope that this common sense approach to safety in the workplace rings true with you. As always if you want to discuss an upcoming project we are only too happy to have that first chat.