Changes in the Weather Can Affect Safety
Turn around and it is already 50-some days until Thanksgiving. A big snow could happen at any time. While workers in Minnesota and Wisconsin may be experienced at handling mounds of snow, precautions are still necessary. It pays to be safe. The same precautions are necessary in the workplace. For some manufacturers, the upcoming holidays translate into the need for higher levels of productivity. You may need seasonal or contract workers to assist stepped-up production, and they may not be savvy to the best on-the-job safety practices. Nine precautions for employee safety
- Keep the workplace hazard free. Post signs, floor markers, labels, color coding, and posters. Use whatever it takes - images or words - to get attention and remind workers of potential issues. Good signage is a big factor in maintaining standards and preventing falls. All contract employees should be given a plant tour and a safety briefing before beginning work.
- Chemicals should be clearly labeled, and employees who work with them should be instructed in the proper procedures for their use. They should also know the signs and symptoms of exposure, evacuation plans, and proper first aid.
- Assess controls on an ongoing basis. For example, carelessness around heavy machinery can cost someone’s life. It only takes a few minutes to demonstrate how to do something safely rather than presume a worker knows how or has experience. Be sure to take those few minutes.
- Monitor the workplace to ensure employees follow safety protocols (including OSHA requirements).
- Recruit a “safety team” to help the workplace safety manager. Encourage the safety team to build relationships with all workers.
- Ensure managers/supervisors and the “safety team” are properly trained and keep non-employees away from dangerous areas. Tag violations with colored tags so that issues can be dealt with immediately.
- Use wisdom. Learn from experience. Should a close-call or incident occur, stop work and have the employee leave the area until investigation and documentation occurs, and inspections are satisfied.
- Maintain a clear understanding of the new OSHA ruling. Both host employers and staffing agencies have roles in complying with workplace health and safety requirements, and they share responsibility for ensuring worker safety and health. Designate respective responsibilities in the contract with your staffing agency to ensure that both parties comply with all relevant regulatory requirements. [Note: Look for our blog on 10/18 for a more detailed explanation of requirements and ramifications of the new OSHA ruling.]
- Enforce the rules and make no exceptions.