Don’t let slips, falls and other accidents plague your workforce this upcoming season. The change of temperatures and shorter daylight hours mean you may need to implement some seasonal safety guidelines and standards to ward off workplace injuries. Here are some tips OSHA recommends to maintain a safe work environment and prevent falls.
Make sure all stairway and ladder floor openings are guarded with a railing. Fixed and removable railings are needed for skylights, manhole floors, hatchways, chutes, and other openings in and around the manufacturing floor. During the cooler months, check the stability of these railings to make sure all screws and hinges are working properly, and any wood or other porous materials are not contracting or expanding because of temperature changes.
Any manlifts used on the manufacturing floor, construction sites, or elsewhere need to have standard guardrails and appropriate mounting platforms. Check clearance levels and make sure all belts, wheels and other parts are properly maintained and repaired immediately if damaged. During the fall months, it may be even more important to check for slick surfaces and other weather-related hazards when operating manlifts outdoors or in partially covered areas.
If you use different types of ladders and ladder equipment on the manufacturing floor, in the warehouse, or at construction sites, there is always a high risk of falls when the ladder is not positioned properly. Employees need to take safety precautions to avoid positioning ladders on slick surfaces or on surfaces that may be cracked or damaged. Falls from ladders can result in serious injuries, ranging from sprained ankles to death. As the temperature changes, any wooden ladders or wood surfaces may be porous and change size, or become easily damaged.
All employees are required to wear personal protective equipment when entering certain work zones and handling certain types of industrial and manufacturing equipment. Employers need to take steps to assess the workplace to determine exactly where potential hazards are located, says OSHA. During the cooler months, employees must be adequately clothed and covered to prevent any injuries. Long-sleeve shirts, long pants, work boots, logging boots, and other types of clothing that cover the body from head to toe may be mandatory as temperatures drop.
All employers are required to check the building for any major repairs and perform maintenance checks. Companies that work with suspended equipment need to be especially mindful about pulleys, ropes, cables, and other suspension devices that may require replacement from regular wear and tear, or repairs before the cold-weather months set in.
Sticking to OSHA’s fall prevention standards this autumn may help to ward off work-related injuries. If you need more tips on workplace safety or employee management, get in touch with the experts at Bear Staffing.