Keeping a facility safe is extremely important, and as a safety manager or other leader in the facility it is often going to be your responsibility to ensure there are no unnecessary hazards. One of the best ways to do this is to make a safety hazards checklist that you can use to make sure nothing is overlooked during inspections or when completing other tasks.
This checklist should have a number of different items on it in order to ensure your facility is as safe as possible. The following are ten of the most important items you can have on your safety hazards checklist. Some of these are specific items you need to be checking for, and others are things that you need to have available at all times in order to properly respond to safety concerns.
Take some time to look over this list, and then consider adding some additional items that would be helpful to your specific situation. When done, you’ll have an excellent safety checklist that you can use for years to come.
Top 10 Items for Your Safety Hazards Checklist
Item #1 – Cleaning Supplies
One of the most important things you can do to improve the safety of your facility is to keep it nice and clean. While the normal day to day cleaning will be handled by the janitorial or maintenance departments, you should always have some key cleaning items to respond to spills and other immediate cleaning needs.
Cleaning up a mess quickly can help to prevent slip and fall hazards. In addition, if the product that is spilled is toxic or otherwise dangerous, you can get it removed properly to help minimize any negative effect. Many safety departments will have a small bag of key cleaning items so they can respond immediately to these types of hazards.
Item #2 – Safety Signs
Most safety signs in your facility will be put in place and left there to provide warning of a particular danger. In some cases, however, there are temporary situations that need to have signs in place for just a short time. Having safety signs for generic issues like ‘slippery when wet’ is a good idea for those types of common, yet temporary, issues.
In addition to these, however, you should also have the ability to create your own safety signs on the fly. One great way to do that is by using a high quality industrial label printer. Good label printers can create large labels that can be placed on a plastic sign or other area for a quick warning sign when the need arises.
Item #3 – Personal Protection Equipment
You, or the person on your team who acts as the first responder to accidents and emergencies, should have all the necessary personal protection equipment. You never know what types of accidents are going to occur, and it may be necessary for you to react. With this in mind, you should have things like protective gear, respirator equipment, and more.
Of course, you’ll also want to make sure you know how to properly use these items. Being able to quickly put on a breathing mask, for example, can allow you to remain safe while responding to a potentially hazardous situation.
Item #4 – Electrical Shutoff Switch
While this is not something you are going to be carrying around with you, it is important that you have a working electrical shutoff switch for your facility. Having this on your safety hazards checklist will make sure you always know where it is and how to use it. In addition, it will remind you to make sure that any new equipment installed in the facility is on the main power grid so you can shut it off.
An emergency electrical shutoff switch will cut the power to your entire facility, so you don’t want to have to use it, but it is important that it is there. If someone is being electrocuted, for example, you can cut the power immediately. In addition, if a wire is cut somewhere in the facility and it is exposing the facility to a fire risk, you can cut the power until the risk is over.
In addition to the switch itself, everyone in the facility should know how to notify someone to hit the switch, and when it should be done. Setting the proper procedures around this will help people to react quickly during an emergency.
Item #5 – Lockout / Tagout Items
If your facility uses the lockout / tagout procedure when machines are being worked on, you need to make sure you have all the proper items to ensure it is done properly. The lockout / tagout system helps to ensure those who are working on heavy machinery are not exposed to electricity while in the machine.
They will physically remove the power from the machine, and put a lock on it so it can’t be accidently restored. They will hold the only lock, so they can be confident that they are safe. If your facility is not already using this system, it should be implemented immediately as it is a best practice that could easily save people’s lives.
Having the locks, keys and tags kept in a central location (like the safety manager’s office) is a great way to ensure they are always available when needed.
Listen to a great podcast of Lockout / Tagout by clicking HERE.
Item #6 – Testing Fire Safety Equipment
Keeping things like fire extinguishers and alarms in proper working order is an essential part of any safety hazards checklist. While these items won’t be kept just in your office, they need to be checked on a regular basis.
Most of the time fire extinguishers and alarms will be tested at least once per year by a third party, but you can do your own testing as well. Checking the pressure gauge on the fire extinguishers, for example, is something you can have done monthly to avoid problems.
Item #7 – Emergency Contact Numbers
While you will be able to take care of most accidents and injuries on site, there are times when you’ll need to call in help. With this in mind, you should always have the local fire, police and paramedics numbers for quick response. Being able to contact them fast can help to save lives during an emergency.
Item #8 – Inventory Storage Inspections
There are many different types of inventory that you likely have to keep in your facility. Whether it is parts for making your products, or finished items that are waiting to be picked up, they all represent a safety hazard. Since these items are constantly being moved around, you need to ensure they are properly organized and safely stored.
For example, you can mark off specific areas where pallets full of products can be stored. Installing SafetyTac floor marking tape on the ground around the designated storage area, for example, will ensure the pallets are not sticking out and causing safety issues.
Item #9 – Checking Vents & Filters
In many facilities one of the most significant hazards is that of dangerous fumes from chemicals or other products. With this in mind, you should be checking the facility ventilation system, and any filters that need to be in place, on a regular basis.
Keeping these things in proper working order can help to prevent the dangerous fumes from becoming a life threatening hazard.
Item #10 – Safety Training
The last, but certainly not least, item on this safety hazards checklist is all about safety training. You need to make sure everyone in your facility is given the proper training to keep themselves and the entire facility safe. Keeping track of which training you have, and who has taken them will help you to ensure all your training requirements are covered.
Of course, this checklist won’t do any good if you don’t use it on a regular basis to ensure you’re not missing anything. Keeping it up to date and following it properly will help you to avoid problems and keep your facility safe.