Feb 08, 2012 / by Alisa Hafen / No Comments

Workplace health and safety hazards can be costly; not only financially, but more importantly, to lives as well.   However, if the right steps are taken, we can prevent them from becoming accidents.

We don’t need to be surrounded by combustible materials to face serious safety risks.  Precautions need to be taken at home as well as at work.

Whether it is a failure to protect workers against carbon monoxide, the silent killer, or a sleep deprived employee getting into a fatal car accident on the drive home from work, every job comes with potential hazards.

It is most important to assess which hazards are most damaging to your business and your employees.  Some may disrupt your continuity more than others or some may pose more serious threats to employee welfare.

What we need to realize is that with thorough planning, these setbacks can be foreseen and avoided.  Make it a priority to look at your risk factors and see where your problems are.

There are two prominent types of preparation that employers can take against health and safety hazards in the workplace:  hazard analysis and risk mapping.  These require the manager to step back and examine the procedures and facilities with eyes unclouded by routine and alert to potential danger.

Job hazard analysis is when one looks at how a job is to be done and what sort of equipment is required.  Knowing where prevention needs to be should pose no mystery when you look at each job objectively.

Risk mapping is similar, but it requires your supervisor to examine the liabilities by looking at your workplace rather than considering habits and duties of the employees.

For example, the numbers of falls that result in fatalities tend to be in industries such as construction or landscaping.  This is the case where training your employees in safety procedures and periodically evaluating their understanding and execution of those procedures is the most useful course of action.

Providing equipment precautions such as guardrails, rope and pulley supports when possible is also a good idea.  Recently, there have been several critical falls – some even deadly – that could have and should have been prevented.

Make sure that everyone is aware of the safety procedures – follow up to make sure the training sank in and that it is being incorporated into their daily responsibilities.

Remember, it is your job to get home safely each and every day.