Employers have a responsibility to provide safe working conditions for employees. Employees have a responsibility to inform their employers when working conditions are not safe. By working together, both employers and employees can help ensure work environments remain safe and promote proper worker safety.
Part of promoting and improving worker safety includes following these seven steps, which we use at our custom tooling company:
1. Train Workers Well
Employers need to take the time to train all of their workers on any equipment, tools, and machines they will be using. They also need to train them on the proper safety protocols to follow when encountering a safety issue.
2. Recruit and Hire the Best Workers
Finding workers with experience using the equipment, machines, and tools in the work environment means you are getting employees that are familiar with safety. You always want to try to hire the best-of-the-best.
3. Provide the Right Tools and Resources
If workers are required to wear hardhats, steel-toed boots, or other types of safety gear, make sure they have easy access to what they need. Many employers will provide safety equipment as part of the job-supplied items. Other employers will reimburse their employees for the costs of buying the safety gear.
4. Use the Right Signage and Labels
Employers need to make sure machines, equipment, tools, and other work areas have the right safety signage and labels where they are easy to see and read. These signs could contain specific instructions on safety procedures, warnings, or cautions.
5. Promoted a Clean Work Environment
Employers need to promote a clean work environment. Employees should be encouraged to “clean-as-they-go,” meaning they do a job task, and then clean up afterward before moving on to the next job task. Supervisors and managers should get into the habit of doing routine inspections to ensure employees’ work areas are kept clean.
In addition, hallways, shop floors, warehouses, and other areas where heavy traffic and/or products are stored, should be kept clear, neat, and organized. Employees need to include cleaning protocols as part of their safety protocols.
6. Keep Machines, Equipment, and Tools Well-Maintained
It is important to perform preventative maintenance on any machines, equipment, and tools to help promote workplace safety. One should never wait until something breaks before it is fixed. However, emergency repairs can happen when unexpected breakdowns occur. Just make sure the machine, equipment, or tool is properly repaired and follow all lock-out tag-out protocols until it is.
7. Continue Evolving Safety Plans and Protocols
Once safety plans and protocols are in place, it does not mean they are done and never have to be addressed again. Safety is ongoing. As such, employers should always be looking for ways to improve safety in the workplace.
Employers should also keep an open dialogue with workers. Workers should be empowered to express any safety concerns, safety ideas, safety improvements, and other concerns and thoughts they may have. Employees often see things employers do not, so their input is valuable for maintaining safe work environments.
Additionally, take the time to promote safety plans and protocols during staff meetings, employee training sessions, and other opportunities. For instance, weekly employee “newsletters” are a great way to promote safety with a weekly safety tip.
By using these seven steps regularly and being proactive about safety in the workplace, employers and employees can reduce risks of accidents and injuries.
For all of your investment casting tools, 3D printed mold tooling, custom tool design, rapid prototyping, CNC machining, engineering, and secondary and finishing operations, please feel free to contact Laszeray Technology, LLC at 440-582-8430 today!