When trapeze artists perform in a circus they are provided with a safety net. A “just in case” the routine doesn’t go the way it was planned. Banking institutions require a high credit score or collateral prior to lending money. Shareholders like security to reduce the risk of loss when investing their money in stocks. Vehicles deploy airbags in the event of an accident. These are all safety measures. Being prepared for the worst case scenario is not a new idea; neither is preventing the worst from happening. As the saying goes “better safe than sorry,” when it comes to material handling there are several different factors when creating your safe work space.
Safety goes beyond wearing a hard hat and safety goggles. There are many ways employees can increase safety precautions to reduce the risk of accidents and injury. According to OSHA, lift truck accidents cause about 100 fatalities and 36,340 serious injuries every year in general industry and construction. Of these accidents approximately 20-25% are caused, at least in part, by inadequate training. Training is the most important factor in preventing accidents, and should be enforced from the top down. OSHA’s website provides videos, PowerPoint slides, and numerous resources to aid in preparing your employees for the equipment they will be using. Safety education and equipment certification should be thought of as an additional insurance policy to provide your employees with a safe environment.
Quick Safety Tips:
- Operators should be trained to handle asymmetrical loads, and should never handle loads heavier than the weight capacity of the lift truck.
- Designate walkways for pedestrians that are clearly marked and easy to follow. This will prevent forklifts and people traveling the same paths.
- Narrow spaces make it hard to maneuver a forklift, make sure there is adequate space for your machine to move around.
- Set speed limits and enforce them. The slower a forklift is traveling the easier it is to stop.
Accidents even with no injury to workers are costly to companies. Repair of facilities and replacing damaged goods is expensive and unproductive. A disabled machine means efficiency will be down and workers could be idle for hours or even days depending on the needed repair. Employees being trained and constantly aware of their surroundings will help minimize risk of accidents and injury. The best practice really is safety first. It saves time, money, and people’s lives. Keep employees safe and keep costs down by creating a safe work environment. If there is a question about a practice being safe, it probably isn’t.
At Southeast Industrial Equipment we provide employee training to assist your company. To request an appointment, please call (866) 696-9125 or visit us online at www.sielift.com.
2 thoughts on “Work Place Safety Net”
Thanks for your ideas to increase workplace safety! I liked your thoughts about setting speed limits and ensuring that there was enough space for machinery to operate. I would imagine that in many workplaces it would even be a good idea to set up an actual safety net to prevent tools and other objects from falling from heights onto workers below.
When a company provides a safe working environment, it protects itself, its employees and its customers. In fact, it is everyone’s responsibility to create and maintain a safe and functional work environment, provide training and education, be prepared for safety inspections and report incidents.