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Women in Skilled Trades

How Employers Can Improve Workplace Safety

More than 10 American workers die every day on the job. It’s time to change this unacceptable statistic.

Here’s how your employees can keep themselves safer during the workday:

  • Avoid distractions behind the wheel: Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of fatalities on the job, according to John A. Dony, Director of the Campbell Institute.
  • Wear a mask when dealing with hazardous chemicals:. Respiratory exposure is one of the major risks of using hazardous chemicals. Review the label and check the quality of your protection.
  • Use protective eyewear:. Each day, about 2,000 U.S. workers have a job-related eye injury: including chemical burns, thermal burns and particles striking the eye that requires medical treatment, according to the CDC.
  • Take another look at the scaffolding:. An estimated 2.3 million construction workers frequently work on scaffolds; protection from scaffold-related accidents would prevent an estimated 4,500 injuries and 50 fatalities each year according to OSHA. Check the structure: unstable objects, such as barrels, boxes, loose bricks or concrete blocks must not be used to support scaffolds or planks.
  • Protect yourself against falls: Each year, falls consistently account for the greatest number of fatalities in the construction industry. To prevent falls, OSHA recommends: using aerial lifts or elevated platforms to provide safer elevated working surfaces; erecting guardrail systems with warning lines near surface edges; covering floor holes; and using body harnesses.
  • Check your safety standards: Some OSHA workplace safety standards are over 50 years old and following regulation without further research can put you at serious risk. Double-check the dates on safety regulations.

Here’s how you can keep your employees safer at work:

  • Develop a strong safety culture: Starting with management, there should be a company-wide priority for safety, in every department, every day. Periodically sending emails with safety precautions or hanging flyers is not enough.
  • Take advantage of training and networking opportunities: Staying on top of the latest in safety is crucial for both employers and workers.
  • Ensure clear, accurate labels on hazardous materials: Labels should be written in the appropriate language and in a way that both workers and employers could easily understand, with pictograms when possible.
  • Don’t trust just one source for safety regulations: Look to multiple safety guides for training on hazardous products.
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