Preparing for Your 2016 Safety Goals
When discussing workplace safety most conversations are fairly abstract and look at generic ideas that could be applied to many different facilities. This is not necessarily a bad thing as it can be very helpful when coming up with safety improvement ideas and strategies that can be implemented at your specific company.
When it comes right down to actually improving the safety in your facility, however, you need to have specific, measurable safety goals. Having the ability to measure the goals will help you to know whether or not your improvement efforts are having the desired effects.
Of course, each facility will have to come up with its own list of safety goals, and learn how they can be accurately measured to get the best possible results. The following 5 measurable safety goals, however, can give you concrete examples of what your facility can look at and how the data can be gathered when implementing them in your facility.
Pinch Point Injuries
One of the most common types of injuries in a facility come from pinch points. These are especially dangerous because of the fact that they occur so quickly and often without warning. Pinch points can occur whenever there is a hard object that someone can get crushed into by a vehicle, machine, cart or other item.
Measuring how many pinch point related injuries take place in your facility each year is often more difficult than you might think. The following considerations need to be taken into account when attempting to get accurate numbers:
- Minor Injuries – People often don’t report minor injuries because they don’t think it is worth the time. The difference between a minor injury and a potentially fatal one when it comes to pinch points, however, is often very small. Encouraging employees to report all pinch point injuries is essential.
- Near Misses – In many cases people will be able to move out of the way or stop a machine just before someone is hurt. This is known as a near miss and it is important to make sure you’re tracking these numbers as well as they are an indication of a risk that needs to be addressed.
- Cause of Accident – When measuring pinch point accidents it is essential to track what the cause of the accident is. Different steps need to be taken to address pinch points related to high-lows compared with machine movement, for example.
Whenever measuring incidents related to pinch points you need to make sure you’re getting accurate information. With that information you can take the right steps to improve the safety of the facility. Putting up wall signs in areas where these injuries are common, for example, can help you reduce the number of accidents.
Vehicle Related Injuries
Another common type of injury in many warehouses and other facilities are those related to vehicles. Just like car accidents on normal streets, indoor vehicles can cause a significant amount of harm to people in the area.
In fact, many indoor vehicles are even more dangerous than traditional cars because they don’t typically operate with an internal combustion engine, which makes them much quieter. If people don’t hear the vehicle approaching, they are at much greater risk of getting hurt.
When working to improve the measuring of vehicle related accidents, make sure you break them up into different categories. For example, knowing whether an accident occurred while a vehicle was moving forward or backward is very important. Also, knowing the speed at which a vehicle was going when the accident occurred can be essential.
The more data you can measure about each accident the better. This will help you to make an effective plan of action to reduce the total number of vehicle related incidents your facility has. You can also consult forklift safety resources to learn how to assess your safety program.
Slip & Fall Injuries
No matter what type of business you’re running you will undoubtedly have a good number of slip and fall related accidents. If you’re operating a manufacturing or warehouse facility, however, these types of accidents can be particularly dangerous. This is because people are often carrying heavy objects which can make the fall cause a lot more injuries or even hurt other people in the area.
When gathering information about slip and fall accidents in your facility you will want to take steps to ensure you have the right data to be able to reduce the risk. Tracking what parts of the facility these accidents are occurring most often in, for example, is very important.
If people are slipping and falling near an entrance, you may have a problem with wet floors. If the falls occur in an area where wood is cut by machines, the sawdust may be making the floor slippery. Stairs are another common area where this type of accident can occur.
Once you’ve measured the data from your slip and fall accident reports, you will be able to take the necessary steps to keep people safe. Even something as simple as putting down floor tape that provides additional traction can help keep people safe. If you don’t have the right data related to these accidents, however, you won’t know that traction tape is what you need.
Injuries from Dropped Items
Another extremely common hazard at many workplaces is having something dropped from above and hitting someone below. This is most common at construction sites, but warehouses and other facilities experience this type of thing as well. Many companies think that simply providing hard hats for those working in the area directly below other work locations is enough, but it really isn’t.
There have been many examples of items dropping from high up, hitting another object on the way down so that it flies a long distance from the original location to hit someone who is not wearing any personal protection equipment.
In order to improve the safety of the people working in the area, however, you need to know what types of issues your company struggles with. Measuring things like what items are being dropped, why they were dropped and what types of personal protection equipment was being worn by the person below is very important.
One last type of measurable safety goal is related to ladder related injuries. People often fall from ladders because they are not placed properly or because the operator leans over too far to try to reach for something. Learning all about the cause of each accident can help you to figure out great ways to keep people safer while they are working on ladders.
Once you’ve collected the data about the injuries that occur in your facility, you can set the proper goals for preventing them from occurring in the future.
Data Is Essential
The bottom line with all of these types of incidents and the goal of improving the safety of your facility is that you need to have as much data as possible to properly make improvements. Gathering information before, during and after each accident will help you to be able to make the right decisions on how you can prevent them in the future.
In addition, when you are armed with accurate data about a specific type of accident, you can set realistic safety goals that your facility can accomplish. This will, over time, help to keep everyone safer.
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