5 Mistakes That Compromise Workplace Safety


A safe workplace is essential for any business. It's true regardless of your company's size. It also applies to all industries. The goal for business owners should be to transform their companies' work environments and make them as safe and secure as possible.

Workplace safety is easier said than done, though. Because employers have so many responsibilities, mistakes or oversights can happen. They may also have personal problems outside work or business that can distract them.

In fact, accidents still happen despite the government's efforts to ensure workplace security. For instance, they've released the OSHA walking and working surfaces checklist to help. But, despite that and other safety standards, failures to observe protocols still take place.

The Importance of Learning from Past Mistakes

Mistakes in ensuring workplace safety indeed can happen. Even so, errors that compromise your and your employees' safety should be avoided. It's vital to learn from them, especially the life-threatening ones.

The problem is that many business owners don't always realize that they've committed these errors. However, being aware of the errors you've committed is the best way to prevent such mistakes from happening again. It's how you can do better.

Below, we've listed the common mistakes that compromise workplace safety. You should definitely take note of them.

1. Speeding Up Employee Safety Training

Many employers rush employee safety training. They feel that such programs are only a waste of time. They'd rather send their employees to production as soon as possible because they think it's what is best for their bottom line. The performance of their staff suffers as a result, and worksite safety also gets compromised.

Employees need to be aware of possible risks and hazards in their work environment to be able to work efficiently and safely. Usually, they learn these things from training. Mentorships also teach them how to handle risks properly. That said, limiting their time in training isn't a good idea at all. It's like allowing your workers to go into battle empty-handed.

Focus on monitoring each employee's progress instead. Also, arm them with the right equipment during the training. That's the only way to expand their workplace safety awareness. In the end, they can contribute to making your company a safe and secure place for work.

2. Not Following PPE Rules

Who should wear personal protective equipment (PPE)? Employees who operate machines should wear PPE. Those who handle hazardous substances also need it.

The PPE protects a person from workplace hazards. Most sets include a helmet, goggle, and footwear.

Despite their importance, many business owners neglect to implement PPEs in their manufacturing plants and factories. In fact, poor PPE supervision is commonplace in many industries. It could be a problem in the long run.

What happens when you don't follow PPE rules? Well, you're doing a disservice to your employees. That's because you'll expose them to increased injury and infection risks. Electric sparks, poisonous gases, and falling debris are only some of the many hazards that may compromise their safety.

The best thing to do is to encourage your employees to wear PPEs when working. If you need to, enforce regulations on your company's prescribed work clothes. Implement sanctions for violators, too.

3. Not Using Safety Signs

Safety signs are a must in any workplace. They help everyone notice the dangers and risks around them. You shouldn't wait for someone to slip or trip before placing a 'wet floor' sign in the lobby. Waiting for a fire breakout to happen before placing an 'emergency exit' sign isn't a good idea either. It might also cause problems when filing your business permits.

Safety signs not only help you and your employees identify possible dangers but also help avoid potential injuries. Even the simplest of safety signs could go a long way in keeping everyone safe.

It's essential to note that failure to warn workers of workplace hazards could also result in a lawsuit. You don't want your company's name to be dragged into a legal controversy for sure.

4. Improper Handling and Storage of Hazardous Materials

Many businesses use chemicals to make consumer goods and products. However, exposure to these substances can lead to various health effects. That's why you have to handle and store these materials properly.

Aside from wearing protective gear, such as masks and gloves, it'll also help if you'll label each container based on its content. Make sure the lids are tightly closed or sealed. The storage area should be sufficiently ventilated, too. Moreover, the workers handling and storing them should be properly trained.

These guidelines can be of great help. However, educating your entire workforce is still the best way to ensure their safety. Up to date training allows workers to follow established protocols and be aware of their responsibilities.

5. Failing to Clean and Organize the Facility

Maintaining workplace safety is a daunting task. At least, that's what most business owners think. The truth, however, is that it's a straightforward process. It can be as simple as ensuring that your workplace is clean.

With that said, why not do general cleaning regularly? You can start with once-a-month cleanups. Some organizations even do it once or twice a week. It makes sense because clutter can accumulate so quickly, especially during busy days.

Cleaning also helps your management team. It makes it easier for them to keep tabs on everything that requires repair or replacement. As a result, accidents due to equipment failures are less likely to happen.

Another benefit of a clutter-free workplace is increased productivity. Of course, nobody likes working in clutter and rubbish-filled facility. But, a clean and safe environment? It motivates employees to work harder!

Final Words

Not learning from these mistakes can be detrimental to workplace safety. So, take the time to review your company's safety guidelines and protocols. Is a change necessary? If yes, then don't hesitate to make it. Most importantly, train your employees on how to avoid or handle risks.

Keep in mind that there's no mistake, big or small, when it comes to the safety of your employees. Do better and strive for a safe work environment for them. After all, they work hard to help your company achieve its objectives.

By Claire Thompson:
Claire is an occupational health specialist. She shares her expertise through online guest posting and blogging. Claire is married with three daughters. She loves reading books, writing poems, and gardening.


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