Workplace accidents are inevitable—they happen all the time. And when they do happen, they can result to severe injuries and even deaths. This is especially true for industries where a lot of high-risk manual work is involved (construction and building work). Dealing with any work-related accident or death can cost construction companies a lot of money and cut its profitability significantly. The average cost of construction-related fatalities in the United States is around $4million. The best way for companies to avoid losing money from accidents is to incorporate an EHS system in place and invest in top quality EHS Software.
Why do Companies Need EHS Software?
Below is a list of the most common workplace hazards that happen all too often. While there are a lot of dangers that can occur at work, we believe this list warrants attention. If you’re a business owner, it’s time you educate yourself on what can cause potential accidents and hazards at work and how you can safely prevent them with the help of EHS software.
- Accidents from slipping, tripping, and falling
Accidents from slipping, falling, or tripping over wet floors, uneven surfaces, loose cables, and more are generally the most common causes of accidents at work. Employers usually end up spending huge amounts of money to cover the costs of these accidents, and unfortunately most of them could be prevented if only people followed safety regulations properly. Employers are responsible for making sure that their employees are working in a safe environment.
Although accidents happen, you can ensure employee’s safety by cleaning up spills, putting away equipment after using them, improving lighting, and making workers wear slip-resistant shoes.
- Electrical Accidents
“Live wires” whether touched directly or indirectly can fatally harm people. Electric shocks can cause severe and permanent injuries. Most of these accidents are due to faulty equipment.
Preventive measurements should include maintenance of all electrical installations, providing electrical hazard rated footwear to workers, and replacing damaged cable sections. Defective electrical appliances can cause fire accidents as well, so be sure to have those checked and replaced.
- Fire Accidents
Businesses with poor housekeeping standards, public access , and old and badly maintained equipment are prone to fire accidents.
The best way to prevent fire accidents at work is to place fire extinguishers throughout the building and maintain all firefighting equipment in case of emergencies. If your employees work around flames, provide them with fire-resistant clothing or work wear. Handle all highly flammable materials properly; switch off electrical equipment not in use. Even doing something as simple as making sure your cigarette butt is totally put out is a great precautionary measure against fire accidents.
- Physical Hazards
While physical hazards seem too generic to even mention, it is an important one. Physical hazards are the most common problems that show up too often at work. For example, ragged electrical wirings, exposed moving parts, unguarded machinery, vibrations, and working with ladders, scaffolding, and heights.
As a preventive measure, employers must ensure the safety of their employees by educating them on how to properly operate machinery, how to work around the equipment and also on how to properly maintain them.
- Working In Small, Closed Spaces
Closed, cramped and confined spaces can become dangerous places to work. Examples would be:
- And the like
Any unventilated, or poorly ventilated room can increase the risk of accidents, injury and even death to workers.
One preventive measure to reduce the risk of workers working in confined spaces is to prevent or restrict entry into confined spaces. Consider if it is really necessary for workers to go and work into those spaces? If you can avoid it, try to follow safety precautions. Train and instruct your workers so they can safely complete necessary work. Set up emergency arrangements in place before they even start working. You could even invest in a good EHS software as well.
- Ergonomical Hazards
When the kind of work you do and the body position/working conditions you have put a strain on your body, this could be considered an ergonomical hazard. Because these hazards don’t always have an immediate effect on you, you’ll find a hard time identifying it when it happens.
The solution? Train employees on how they can complete tasks in the best and most efficient way possible whilst avoiding strains and injuries. Another way you can make the workplace more efficient is to keep everything organized—keeping tools, materials, and equipment within arms’ reach won’t make your employees lazy. Instead, it will improve production and make the work environment more enjoyable for your employees.
- Chemical Hazards
Chemical hazards are what make working in confined spaces extremely dangerous. When you’re exposed to any chemical agent (whether liquid, solid, or gas), you are at risk of potential chemical hazards. Some examples of chemicals that can damage your health are:
- Flammable materials
- Cleaning products and solvents
- Carbon monoxide
If you’re not careful, you could get burns, eye injuries, and skin irritations from exposure to these chemicals.
The best way to avoid chemical hazards is by properly disposing of chemicals. You can also try to reduce the use of dangerous chemicals to keep the workplace safe. Take additional preventive measures by providing proper ventilation, minimizing exposure to chemicals, maintaining equipment, providing protective gear, providing gloves, and encouraging the washing of hands all the time.
- Noise Hazard
If you have to raise your voice to be heard by a worker who is just a yard away from you, then it simply means that the noise level at work is reaching harmful degrees! As an employer you need to instruct your workers on how they can minimize the risks of noise hazard. A good way to start would be to invest in hearing protection.
Maintenance of equipment is also equally important. Employers should find ways to reduce noise in the workplace if possible. You could try enclosing noisy machinery away from workers, or you could also limit entry into noisy areas altogether.
To Cap It Off
Workplace accidents and injuries can happen any time but there’s a way for you to prevent that from happening. Take time to educate and train your employees on workplace safety and take measures necessary to keep your workplace a safe environment for everyone. Having a good EHS system and EHS software around also helps.