Job Hazards

Written by Shirley Parker
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Many companies desire an injury-free workplace and not just to avoid fines and penalties for unsafe working conditions. They truly have a vision and many have put proactive plans in place. Instead of waiting for an employee or the environment to suffer harm before doing something to prevent it happening again, they're upfront about safety and their employees know it.

Even when such a plan needs to proceed incrementally, steady, ongoing improvement will achieve these goals. Eliminating the possibility for fatal and severe injuries will be at the top of the list, followed by serious injuries, then minor mishaps. As the number of accident-free days accumulates, employees feel safe and are proud of their contributions to the record, not to mention they aren't in pain and suffering from a fall or other trauma. Depending on the industry, management oversight, and the level of cooperation of team leaders and other employees, a drop in serious or minor injuries may be more evident. However, since even one fatal or severe injury is appalling, numbers or percentages don't tell the whole story.

Quarterly reinforcement may still be needed, through safety committee meetings (members being drawn from all departments of the company), and training presentations, especially for new employees. Established workers may also need gentle (or not) reminders to lift them from complacency. Additional physical changes may be needed, such as yellow safety tape along the edge of stair treads, or adding decals to clear glass to prevent people from walking into it and cutting themselves quite badly. Safety glass that doesn't shatter on impact is an even better investment and may be required by law in some circumstances.

Other Job Hazards

Building safety supervisors and computer network engineers are generally well aware of the potential for disaster that trailing electrical and telephone cords present. They go to great lengths to fasten them securely. However, smaller companies may lack the benefit of such expertise. Climbing on chairs instead of using step stools that lock in place when stepped on is another potential for serious injury. An Internet search will bring up sources for free brochures on the many hazards to watch out for, although they usually leave out one. That is the danger from truculent employees or abusive husbands/boyfriends coming to the workplace, endangering everyone. Even unarmed security guards can be a deterrent, but quick access to the police should be in place.

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