How to Create a Safe Workplace to Prevent Unnecessary Injuries

As our work force begins to age and continues working past traditional retirement age, it is important for businesses, caregivers and families to take precautions to ensure safe environments. […] The average slip or fall costs a business about $28,000, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Many of these injuries result from hazards that are easy to overlook and equally simple to prevent.

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Here are 4 ways to create a safe work environment and prevent falls:

  1. Reduce wet or slippery surfaces. Accidents on walking surfaces usually occur in parking lots, sidewalks, prep areas and showers. Make sure to keep parking lots and sidewalks free of trash. Use mats to absorb moisture in entrances, prep areas, and locker and shower rooms. Also, make sure grab bars are well anchored to walls and placed at the appropriate height. If possible, install railings on all outdoor stairs, pathways and decks, as well as potentially slippery areas that have textured surfaces.
  2. Keep walkways in common areas free of obstacles. Make sure doorways, stairs and hallways are kept clear. All exposed cords should be moved along the wall and taped. Rugs, carpets and mats should be taped or tacked down.
  3. Maintain proper lighting. Lighting should not be too dim or direct. Light switches should be accessible at the top and bottom stairs. Install night lights in bathrooms and hallways. Pay special attention to indoor and outdoor entrances.
  4. Stay organized. Organized work areas make it easier to find items or reach high places without the risk of falling. For example, items that are used often should be either at waist level or on low shelves. If you need to reach for something, a stepladder should be used rather than a chair, bucket or box. Mailboxes should be at an accessible level. […]

When was the last time you gave your home or business a thorough safety check? Here is a checklist for general fall prevention.

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The full article Create Safe Workplaces through Simple Prevention was first published in the San Diego Daily Transcript July 2013 issue.

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