OSHA requires employers to provide employees with working conditions that are free of known dangers. This is the cornerstone of workplace safety and Arbill’s initiative to ensure that every worker goes home safely after every shift.

Workplace injuries and illnesses are largely preventable, but workplace safety initiatives require both vigilance in safety training and inspections, as well as strict adherence to all rules and regulations, in order to be effective. That is why it is never acceptable to encourage or turn a blind eye to employees taking shortcuts or becoming lax about using the proper tools or safety equipment to get the job done. Even if you think to yourself, “Well, just this once,” you are putting your employees in a hazardous situation with the potential for various undesirable outcomes for your employees and your business.

Below are examples of five workplace safety mistakes, built around scenarios that you might encounter at your facility or job site.

1. Using the Incorrect Tool for the Job

Not using the correct tool for a task leads to danger and inefficient work. You might believe that a similar tool could work since it is almost the same thing, but this is the wrong approach and can lead to injury. Many tools are specifically designed for certain applications, and those tasks will be done incorrectly if the proper tool is not used. Take the extra time to have the appropriate tools on hand for the job. This step will provide a safer workplace while also reducing costs.

2. Removing or Not Wearing Protective Equipment

Safety and protective equipment should be worn at all times when performing a task that requires them. Even if workers are uncomfortable due to weather conditions or believe they do not need to wear their equipment because they have done the job so many times before, the equipment needs to stay on. You should conduct a PPE Assessment to understand the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) for the tasks in your facility. Once that is completed, you should provide the necessary equipment that fits properly and allows employees to perform their jobs safely.

3. Substituting Scaffolding for a Ladder

Scaffolds and ladders are each designed for specific situations and need to be used correctly. Substituting scaffolding for a ladder or vice versa is dangerous and can lead to serious injuries. Falls are a major workplace safety concern and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2021, nearly 1 in 5 workplace deaths occurred in the construction industry with just over one-third of construction deaths due to falls, slips, and trips. It is imperative that you provide the proper equipment and training for employees working at heights.

4. Skipping Machine Inspections

You may be tempted to skip an inspection if a machine seems to be working fine. This is the wrong approach and can lead to problems down the line. Always have your machinery inspected when it is due. There may be issues that you are unable to recognize or hidden dangers that you have not accounted for. Proper inspections by certified professionals ensure that machines are running correctly and are not hazardous. Keeping up inspections will help avoid unexpected production downtime while also ensuring the safety of your employees.

5. Not Reviewing Safety Guidelines Annually

You should review your safety guidelines every year to keep them fresh in the minds of your employees. Training and the dissemination of workplace safety guidelines, rules, and regulations need to occur on a regular basis. Safety guidelines should reflect regulatory and facility changes and be made available to employees. A review of the guidelines should also take place to ensure that each employee understands the rules. Taking this proactive approach shows your employees that you care about their well-being and that safety is taken seriously in your organization.

It is a mistake to become complacent about workplace safety. You need to make the necessary investments to keep your employees safe. Take the time to research and provide employees with protective equipment that is comfortable and ensures their safety. Make room in the schedule for safety training and inspections, and regularly revisit your safety guidelines.

Speak to an Arbill Safety Expert today to see how we can help you prevent these mistakes and assist you in your pursuit of zero injuries.

Have a safe day!