How to identify health & safety hazards in the workplace

Written by april sanders
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How to identify health & safety hazards in the workplace
(www-group.slac.stanford.edu)

If you are a business owner, it is vitally important that you learn how to identify health and safety hazards in your workplace. This is not only to protect your employees from harm, but also to protect your bottom line. Just one injury can result in much higher insurance premiums. In addition, you risk a lawsuit with every injury sustained by an employee. While safety issues vary greatly by company (for example, a construction site will have different safety hazards than a library), there are some things every business can look for when identifying sources of danger.

Skill level:
Easy

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Create a spreadsheet. You are going to need a way to record possible health and safety hazards in your business. Once recorded, you can figure out a plan to deal with them. After you have created your spreadsheet or record keeping template, inspect your business room by room, looking safety hazards.

  2. 2

    Check for slipping and tripping hazards. This may seem silly, but tripping is one of the main causes of injury in the workplace. Look for cords stretched across floors, rugs that are loose or have corners that stick up, or low steps that are not marked. Make sure hallways and other narrow areas are cleared of any debris or objects that block clear passage. In addition, make sure slick floors have a surface that will provide traction laid down on them.

  3. 3

    Check the air. Sometimes, heating ducts are neglected by cleaning crews. You want to make sure that your employees are not breathing contaminated air. Along those lines, protect your employees by implementing rules that limit smoking in the workplace.

  4. 4

    Check access to rest rooms. Keeping things sanitary in the workplace is one way to cut down on illnesses. Make sure rest rooms are always clean and stocked with supplies. Implement hand-washing rules as well.

  5. 5

    Check to make sure your employees are following general safety tips, such as lifting heavy items correctly, handling dangerous items carefully and using safety equipment properly, such as goggles.

  6. 6

    Limit access to harmful chemicals or tools. If your business deals with hazardous chemicals or equipment, make sure they are properly locked up when not in use. Accidental exposure to chemicals is another leading cause of injury in the workplace. This includes potentially harmful cleaning supplies.

Tips and warnings

  • Create a safety committee and have monthly or quarterly inspections.
  • Make sure you have first aid kits in every room or area of your business.

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