Hazards are always present in almost any type of workplace and industry. Whether it’s busy offices, construction sites, restaurant kitchens, or industrial complexes, managing safety and health hazards present in these working environments can be a challenge. However, keeping your workforce safe by effectively controlling these hazards is key to a productive and operational workplace.
Regardless of your organization’s size, eliminating and controlling hazards should be the priority. However, there will be instances wherein eliminating hazards is impossible. Here are some steps that you can take to minimize and control the risks of hazards in your working environment.
Mind Your Flooring
One of the most important aspects of your facilities that will have a significant impact on your workplace’s safety is the flooring. This isn’t a surprise, as your workplace’s flooring will encompass a good chunk of your facility. Hence, many organizations place emphasis on keeping their facilities clean and in pristine condition.
However, certain types of slippery floors that get wet from cleaning or natural occurrences, such as rain and leaks, can cause slipping and falling. This can even be more dangerous for workplaces where individuals need to haul fragile materials or unstable chemicals. On top of that, water can conduct electricity, which can cause problems if there is a faulty line close by.
For most industries that have to deal with heavy equipment and storage, forklifts and other types of vehicles can significantly impact the flooring since some tires can leave marks. That said, you might want to consider getting floor coatings that are versatile and durable for any situation.
Fortunately, you won’t have to look far since some companies are selling a variety of high-quality floorings, such as electro-static epoxy flooring, which can waterproof and preserve the integrity of your flooring systems and mitigate any hazards. On top of that, these companies also offer vehicular traffic coatings for garages and storage spaces.
Designing and Re-organizing
Another important way to mitigate workplace risk is by re-organizing and designing your office with security and safety in mind. This is a more cost-effective and practical action in eliminating hazards if you’re not quite keen on spending too much on renovations and safety equipment.
If you’re still in the process of planning out and organizing your workplace, then having safety in mind in the earlier planning phases can help incorporate risk control measures without having to spend more time and energy. You can take several risk control measures that can be compatible with your original office setup.
Isolating and Substituting the Hazard
Next, one effective way of ensuring that the workforce is not constantly exposed to hazards is by isolating it in an area where only a select few workers with the right personal protective equipment can interact with the hazard or the machinery. This is especially true for manufacturing and food industries when there is machinery with moving components.
In some situations, a lot of equipment can cause noise pollution and damage the hearing of workers. If you plan on isolating some of these machines, you need to use noise-muffling walls and remote control systems.
Another good way to remove chemical hazards is by substituting them with something safer. This is usually done when most workplaces can’t afford to eliminate the hazard in the workplace, especially when it’s integral to daily operations. Substituting the chemical with a safer alternative is the best way of approaching the scene. For instance, many construction companies are now substituting asbestos with safer products, such as thermoplastic flour and cellulose fiber. Not only will this keep workers safe, but this can keep them healthy in the long run.
Last but not least, effective management and administrative controls are one of the tried and tested ways of minimizing exposure to hazards. These are known as work methods and protocols that are set in place for the safety of workers. Some of this will include cultivating a culture of safety in the workplace, drawing up a schedule that can ensure that not everyone is exposed to the hazard, and conducting routine maintenance from licensed engineers.
There are a variety of ways to control hazards in the workplace. Although many employees don’t necessarily factor in hazards when working, it’s still an important aspect of work that people will need to be alert of. Proper management, planning, and education in the workplace is the best way of controlling hazards in the workplace. Remember: adaptability and agility are key in reacting to any situation that might present itself in the workplace.