How to Successfully Complete a Safety Audit

Safety is the most important issue in any workplace. If a worker doesn’t feel safe in his or her job, then they’ll be unable to focus on doing a good job – and will focus on avoiding injury instead. Not only does this not contribute to a productive work environment – it’s dangerous, and is likely a sign that your place of work is not up to date on current legal requirements.

Fortunately, periodic safety checks or safety audits of your business are an easy way to ensure that everything is running smoothly and that there are no hidden safety hazards. A lot of organizations shy away from safety audits, thinking that they are only searching for things that are going drastically wrong. But it doesn’t have to be that way! With the right attitude and intent, anyone can carry out a productive safety audit.

Image courtesy of Boris Dzhingarov of Flickr

Image courtesy of Boris Dzhingarov of Flickr

The goals of any audit are simple, and achieving these goals is especially easy if you continue to carry out regular safety audits. A truly productive safety audit should:

  • identify the risks, and the levels of severity of said risks, within the workplace
  • identify strengths and weaknesses in your safety procedures
  • assess whether your safety procedures are legally compliant
  • compare current documentation and practices against best practice and legal obligations
  • recommend improvements in your safety procedures
  • ensure that there adequate resources available to manage Occupational Health and Safety (OHS)
  • ensure that the resources devoted to health and safety are being utilized effectively

A safety audit can focus on one single activity, one segment of the organization or the overall status of the organization as a whole. It all depends on how you want to approach it.

How often should safety audits be held?

A full-on safety audit should be completed about once every 3 months. Since the process is a bit more in depth than a general safety check it doesn’t need to be done every month. However, a general safety inspection of work stations should be held weekly to ensure there are no minor safety hazards.

What specifically should you look for in a safety audit?

While you may want to add an item or two onto your site’s own safety audit list, a good audit will always check for each of the following common work hazards:

  • Safety hazards such as faulty machinery, unsafe work practices, unsafe conditions, etc.
  • Biological hazards such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, etc.
  • Chemical hazards. This is especially important if you are frequently handling chemicals and other dangerous liquids.
  • Physical demands/conditions on the worker such as continuous repetitions of a single action, awkward posture, weather, pressure, etc.

What sorts of things should I have written up after a safety audit?

At the end of a successful audit, you should have:

  • An updated tool inventory that highlights anyh tools or machinery at your worksite, and where they are each located; this helps to keep things in their correct place and make sure that they don’t go missing.
  • An updated chemical inventory that confirms chemicals are being stored safely, securely, and in a proper location on-site, where they won’t react to the other chemicals stored around. This is imperative since a chemical reaction can be one of the most dangerous accidents in the workplace.

While not necessarily a requirement, it’s also very helpful to have an updated diagram of the workplace at the end of every safety audit. A mapping of where everything is located can help mark where certain hazards are while moving through the facilities. That way, staff and coworkers alike have to waste time struggling to remember the location of certain safety hazards while on the job.

Safety audits are necessary for every business from office jobs to garages to factories. Every workplace should complete periodic safety checks to ensure that there are no hazards that could hurt someone or even damage expensive equipment. If you continue to complete these safety audits at regular intervals, you will breeze through them and reduce on-site injuries for your workers. However, if you become lax and neglect them for a while, they become harder to complete. Keep up to date on your safety and you definitely won’t regret it.

Sources Consulted

CCOHS

Health and Safety Handbook

3 Major Health (And Work-Related) Dangers of Sleep Deprivation

Did you know that the average American sleeps less than 7 hours each night? This may sound normal to many people, but it falls short of the nationally recommended amount of sleep. As a result of their sleep patterns, 37% of adults have stated that they were so tired that it affected their daily activities – and that includes when they’re at work.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Being fatigued at work can seriously affect your performance. And being sleepy at work doesn’t just stop you from getting your job done: it can cost your organization major money, too. The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine estimated that sleep deprivation can cost an organization $3,156 per worker in productivity.

And your work performance will ultimately be affected by more than feeling sleepy and groggy. When you’re sleep deprived you’ll likely experience other symptoms of sleep loss, including:

  • An increased risk of getting sick
  • Clumsiness
  • Weepiness
  • Extreme hunger
  • Inability to focus and remember things

Worse still, the effects of going without enough sleep go deeper than just a loss of productivity at work. Sleep loss can seriously affect your health in the long term. These common illnesses and issues are possible effects of losing sleep.

Increased risk of stroke

The risk of strokes increases by almost 4 times when only getting 6 hours of sleep as compared to 7-8 hours of sleep as shown by a 3 year study of almost 6,000 adults. By losing that extra hour or two of sleep you increase your risk of suffering from a stroke in the future.

Increased risk of obesity

Since you feel hungrier when you are tired, you may indulge in a little extra eating than you normally would. You may also make poorer food selections than you would if you were fully rested. This is all due to a change in the hormones that regulate your food intake which occurs when you get 6 or fewer hours of sleep.

Increased memory loss

Running low on sleep can definitely make you feel unfocused and unable to concentrate but it can also lead to long term cognitive problems and memory loss. While we sleep, our brain is busy storing away your day into long term memory. When you don’t get an appropriate amount of sleep, your brain doesn’t have an opportunity to do that. Not getting enough sleep can lead to brain deterioration which can affect you for the rest of your life.

Those are only a few of the serious risks associated with sleep deprivation. Some other dangers include:

  • A higher risk of getting diabetes
  • Damage to bones
  • A higher risk of cancer
  • A heightened risk of heart disease

When you wake up and you’re already feeling groggy, try a few of these tips to keep yourself peppy and awake so that you’re not falling asleep on the job:

  • Don’t skip breakfast! Your brain will be more alert if you start off the day well with a good breakfast.
  • Opt for a lighter lunch. Heavy foods will bog you down and make you feel like you need an afternoon nap.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Listen to some upbeat music to get you going. (Make sure to check with your supervisor or Human Resources first to make sure it’s allowed.)
  • Get some fresh air and take a quick, brisk walk to get your blood flowing. The fresh air will help wake you up and the increase in blood flow will keep you alert.
  • When all else fails: coffee.

Ultimately, while there are things you can do to keep yourself going for a day here and there, the best remedy for staying awake during the day is always getting a good amount of sleep each night. Going to sleep early can help if you have trouble falling asleep. By getting enough sleep you are not only helping yourself, but you are helping your organization. Getting enough sleep can prevent you from losing productivity. A well rested mind is better equipped to focus on the work that needs to be done.

Sources Cited

The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

USA Today

Huffington Post

6 Things to Consider When Storing Chemicals

When you work in an industry that handles chemicals, there are safety precautions that need to be taken. As we’ve discussed previously, having a full spill kit on hand is imperative when dealing with dangerous chemicals. However, the handling of those chemicals is equally as important. In addition to ensuring that you are meeting national and local legal requirements, exercising caution and care while managing chemicals can help protect your employees and your bottom line from the effects of a harmful spill.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

While your company may find that additional requirements will help make your workplaces safer, at least following these 6 tips will help to keep any chemicals and liquids you might be working with contained and safely stored:

  1. Use labels and keep paperwork in order. Chemical manufacturers are required Under OSHA’s Hazard Communication standards to label chemicals in the workplace based on any hazards they might pose. A Material Safety Data Sheet must also be provided for each and every chemical.
  2. Keep inventory. Keeping an updated inventory on any on-site chemicals, as well as any safety information needed for individual chemicals, will help keep track of what is stored in your facility and ensure that your staff knows how best to handle each chemical. An inventory is also needed in the event of a fire or chemical spill where the fire department has to be called. Emergency personnel will need an updated list of the chemicals in the facility to better assess how to handle the situation.
  3. Use a well organized storage system. The best storage method for keeping chemicals is to store them by type. Storing them alphabetically could cause a problem if some of the chemicals are incompatible with each other. Flammables, corrosives, and toxic chemicals are a few types of chemicals that commonly cause problems when stored with other chemicals. Storing by type can prevent any accidental contact that could cause a fire or worse, an explosion. Make sure each chemical family is separated by either a non-combustible partition or at least 20 feet of space.
  4. Use safe storage materials. Any corrosive liquids should be kept in acid containers to ensure that mutually reactive chemicals can’t accidentally come in contact with one another. They should also be kept within secondary corrosive-resistant containers.
  5. Schedule safety checks. Frequently do checkups of any containers or drums of oil and chemicals. Over time, containers or drums could develop leaks. If left unmended these can cause serious damage and possibly result in injury. In the event of a leak, use a drip pan to catch the leaked chemical until the storage unit can be properly mended or replaced entirely.
  6. Create a Chemical Hygiene Plan. A Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) is another must for chemical-handling organizations. A CHP is “a written program stating the policies, procedures and responsibilities that protect workers from the health hazards associated with the hazardous chemicals used in that particular workplace.” Keeping a CHP updated and keeping everyone informed on them will prevent an unnecessary injury.

By keeping chemicals safely contained and stored, and making it easy for employees to handle and address them, you can prevent dangerous spills that could cause serious problems. Proper containment is important for preventing dangerous spills which could lead to fires and explosions. The safety of those working in the facility is of the utmost importance, therefore preventing a hazardous emergency should be the priority.

Sources Cited:

OSHA

University of California Berkley

Eye Injuries And How To Prevent Them

Eye injuries are very common injuries in the workplace. In fact, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that around 2,000 people are affected by work related eye injuries that need treatment every day in the United States. And out of these 2,000 injuries, more than 100 require at least 1 day of recuperation before an employee is able to go back to work.

This is bad news for a number of reasons. Any work injuries are problematic, as they reflect an unsafe work environment. This is particularly unfortunate when it comes to eye injuries since most, if not all, of them can be avoided. Fortunately, if proper precautions are taken, there are fewer chances for accidents, which will create a safer work environment (and this will ultimately help a company maintain a more profitable bottom line, by keeping workers on the job and out of the hospital).

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has compiled a checklist to follow to ensure the safety of all workers in your facility. All of these checkpoints work towards one final ultimate goal – accident prevention:

  1. Create a safe work environment. Check to make sure there are no hazards in your company’s workspace, such as loose debris, which could fall and get into someone’s eyes. Schedule regular checkups of tools to ensure quality and safety of all equipment used. Also, make sure that all workers handling the machinery are properly educated in the operation of each piece of equipment.
  2. Check for safety hazards. Evaluate your facility for any potential hazards. Also look in the surrounding area at nearby machinery, workers or any falling or shifting debris.
  3. Wear proper eye safety wear. When using any tools or machinery it’s important to have eye and face coverings to protect yourself from any flying material. Be especially sure that you choose the appropriate eye coverings. Your equipment should be comfortable but still snug to prevent anything from sneaking in. If you’re unsure of the fitness of your equipment, consult with OSHA before using it. You should also make sure to clean and disinfect all equipment in between uses. Finally, perform routine checks of the safety equipment to ensure nothing has broken or cracked.
  4. Practice safe technique at work. In the event that there is any debris falling or flying through the air at work, make sure to brush off your head, hat, safety helmet and safety glasses before removing the glasses. Otherwise, debris may fall from your hair or hat into your eyes and cause an injury. Make sure that safety glasses are cleaned in between each use to prevent debris from settling inside the glasses/goggles and entering the eyes once they are put on. Store all safety equipment in a cabinet to prevent debris or dust from accumulating in any glasses or goggles.
  5. Prepare ahead of time. In the event of an accident, workers need to be prepared and educated in the appropriate responses. Additionally, by having an eye washing station on site many eye injuries can be stopped from being permanently damaging.

Accidents can happen, but they can also be prevented. Preparation is the best way to prevent one from happening, but if one does occur it’s important to know how to react to it. By knowing the proper procedure in the event of an emergency you can cut down on the time it takes to correct the problem. Educated workers will know what to do and how to react in an emergency situation so regularly holding training sessions to teach proper procedures keeps everyone informed. It’s important to always wear eye protection when on a job site and it also helps to keep a first aid kit accessible. Encourage workers to take precaution and to always wear eye protection and you can save them from serious injury.

Can You Beat the Heat? 6 Tips for Staying Cool This Summer

Summer is finally rearing its head. Temperatures are rising, the sun is shining and it’s a great time to be outside. However, even if you love being out in the sun, working outside in extreme heat can be incredibly dangerous and can even lead to on-the-job accidents. Don’t think you’re safe if you live further north, either! Extreme heat isn’t reserved for those working in tropical climates. And as the temperatures heat up it could be a long, dangerous summer for workers.

There are many health problems that can arise through heat and sun exposure. Fainting, dehydration, heat stroke, heat rash and heat exhaustion are just a few of the problems that can show themselves when outside in the heat for too long. The key to avoiding issues like these, then, is to understand why they happen – and to get the answers you need about safety in the heat before heading out to work:

Question 1: How hot is too hot to be outside?

That depends upon a couple of factors. The type of work that is being done is one of the most important aspects to consider. If heavy physical labor is being done, then it’s not safe to be outside in the sun for very long. Another factor is your physical fitness. The more physically fit someone is, the longer they will be able to stand labor intensive work out in the heat. Normally, our bodies attempt to keep our internal core temperatures at around 98.6 degrees. That means that we are able to comfortably work in temperatures of about 73 degrees without feeling too fatigued. However, this temperature could be lower if the labor performed is physically demanding.

Question 2: What can be done to stay safe?

There are many easy ways to keep yourself protected from the sun and the heat on sunny days, including:

  • Start early in the day. The early hours are cooler and the sun hasn’t reached its peak yet so the air is cooler and the sun not as harsh.
  • Work in the shade if possible. If you cannot, take short frequent breaks in the shade to refresh.
  • Don’t forget sunscreen and a hat! Use a sunblock with at least SPF 30 for the most effectiveness.
  • Wear loose long sleeves to protect yourself from getting sunburn. The loose fabric will still allow for air circulation.
  • Stick to wearing light colors that reflect the sun. Dark colors like black and blue will absorb the sunlight and cause you to heat up faster.
  • Take breaks for water frequently. Stick to cool water instead of ice cold water.
  • For more tips head to OSHA’s website.


It’s best to avoid being out in the extreme heat for long stretches of time. If you must be out in the heat, remember to stay hydrated and dress smart. Heat related injuries are serious and in some cases deadly. Staying safe in the heat is simple and with the right precautions you can protect yourself from the dangers of the sun exposure.

3 Causes Of Back Pain At Work – And How To Prevent It

Persistent back pain can make it impossible to focus when at work. It can also make it impossible to actually complete your tasks. Unfortunately, many industries put a lot of strain on the back, increasing the chances of workers suffering from a range of issues, including minor aches to severe injury. Whether minor or severe, though, back pain is not something anyone wants. Fortunately, there are ways you can avoid it, thereby helping to make your job safer and more enjoyable for you.

 

What causes back pain?

There are many things that can lead to back pain. The most common sources of back pain are:

  • lifting loads that are too heavy
  • lifting loads or items improperly
  • repeating improper movements over and over; by doing movements repetitively, you can cause inflammation to your joints and tendons, contributing to your risk of developing tendonitis or bursitis.

If you think something else is causing your back pain at work, take some time to evaluate that possibility as well. Once you understand what is causing your pain, you can usually easily change your actions or work with your employer to ensure you aren’t inflicting that pain upon yourself.

 

How can you avoid causing pain?

If you find that improper lifting, posture or other bad habits are the cause of your back pain, you can get to work on addressing this issue by doing the following:

Keep your body in good shape. By incorporating strength building exercises into your daily routine, you can train your body to better handle the force of lifting heavy objects. The tricks you pick up at the gym will also come in handy at work. Before lifting an object on the job, you should warm your body up with some stretches. This will increase your flexibility, your range of motion and your ability to lift and carry objects in the moment. These stretches are not only good to perform before strenuous activity, but also after, to help keep your muscles in good form.

Pay attention to your posture before you begin lifting. Bad posture is a common cause of back pain. Keeping your back straight and your head up will prevent you from arching your back which can cause injury. You should also avoid twisting while lifting, which can strain the back. Additionally, ifpossible, start with the object between your feet so that you won’t have to reach in order to lift the object. Finally, always keep the load close to your waist while lifting. This lessens the force placed on your back which lessens the possibility of injury.

Take frequent, short breaks in between activity. Taking short and frequent breaks  is better for your muscles than resting for longer periods of time. This is because your body needs some time to recuperate after lifting heavy things. By giving your muscles more opportunities to recover, you’ll be better able to lift more heavy objects.


While you may think these steps are too much hassle, remember that back pain is a common ailment in every industry, even office workers. That means these tricks are appropriate for any worker, in any industry. By preparing yourself beforehand and exhibiting proper technique, you can prevent serious injuries. (And remember, no matter where you work, the most important thing you can do is to listen to your body. If you notice discomfort, address it immediately to determine what the problem is and fix it before it can cause a serious problem.)

On the Job Respiratory Problems: How Can They Be Prevented?

You have to be able to breathe in order to work, right? That’s common sense. The average person breathes in about 2,800 litres of air each workday, more if they are undergoing more physical labor. With so much of your oxygen intake being met at work, the air quality of your workplace is an important aspect of your work environment to consider and keep in mind.

While any workspace can suffer from air quality issues, many common air related problems come with working in construction, factories and warehouses. If there is poor air quality in your workplace, particularly in these three environments, steps need to be taken in order to improve it. While some problems may be harder to address than others, the following three  air quality issues are actually easily preventable if precautions are taken:

1) Allergies

An allergy is defined as “an abnormal reaction of the body to a previously encountered allergen introduced by inhalation, ingestion, injection, or skin contact.” Over 36 million people suffer from allergies in the United States. Individuals who work indoors in offices are usually affected by dust, but those working in factories and warehouses should also be wary of dust mites. Twenty-two million Americans suffer from asthma and that can be easily exacerbated by dust mites.

If your allergies are distracting you from work and making it difficult to concentrate, follow these tips to help clear the air:

  • Dust your workspace frequently. By keeping your station free of dust, you can reduce your risk of being affected by malicious dust particles and dust mites.
  • Are there films of pollen coating the window panes at work? Keep windows and doors closed as much as possible to prevent pollen from infiltrating the building. Use an air filter and regularly clean the filter to counter pollen build up.
  • Mold spores thrive in damp areas. Check often for puddles and immediately mend any leaks found to halt any mold spore intrusions.
  • Consider wearing a face mask when performing any work outdoors during windy days or peak pollen times (between 10 AM and 4 PM).

2) Poor Ventilation

Do you notice a musty smell at work? Do you suffer from symptoms, like headaches or tiredness, that start in the workplace but dissipate once you leave work? Your workplace could have poor ventilation. To address this problem, try doing the following:

  • Regularly change filters on air purifiers and air filters. If an air filter is left to collect too much build-up, it won’t be able to properly do its job. If you regularly clean your workspace you can cut down on the number of times you need to replace your filter.
  • Make sure each fuel burning device is ventilated separately.
  • If allergies aren’t a problem, open windows and let fresh air into the room.

3) Inhalation of Chemicals

Working with and alongside heavy chemicals can cause serious health issues. Chemicals can be inhaled into the body in the form of gases, mists and dusts. Symptoms of chemical inhalation include irritation of the eyes and nose, a cough, or shortness of breath – and in some cases, the ingredients in certain chemicals can contribute to the development of serious health ailments. Follow these steps to prevent inhaling harmful chemicals while at work:

  • Gas masks should be readily available on-site in the event of a chemical spill. All workers should be trained on the proper use and when to use a gas mask.
  • Always use extreme care when handling dangerous chemicals. Remember, the best way to avoid inhalation is to follow safety protocols for the handling and transportation of hazardous substances – and it’s better to be careful and safe than reckless and sorry!
  • Knowledge is power! Be sure to educate workers on the types of chemicals they are working with, as well as about the appropriate ways of handling each one. This will help to prevent any problems or misunderstandings among the people who have been designated to handle chemicals on-site.

These are just three examples of how anyone can begin to address common and likely air quality issues at their place of work. It’s important to remember, however, that while some issues can be handled in-house, other problems may require additional outside assistance before being addressed. Because of this, it’s important for every staff member at a company to be on-board with supporting air quality procedures at their place of work.

Don’t wait for problems to develop before bringing up your concerns with management. And if you feel like there is a problem in your workplace with poor air quality that has not been properly managed until now you should bring it up with your supervisor or with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

How To Keep Minors In Your Business Safe

If your business is in an area close to a school, then young workers could be a valuable part of your workforce. Getting young workers in the door to your business offers them a great opportunity to learn your trade and gets them acclimated to a business they may possible want to pursue further. However, when you hire minors to work in your business, there are many restrictions that come with the task. Not only that, all employers should be well versed on all the necessary measures they need to keep these young workers safe. In order to do so, be sure to follow these steps.

 

  1. Know The Rules

As mentioned early, when you employ minor workers, there are different guidelines you must follow. Be sure your knowledge of the child labor laws are up to date as well as what other safety measures you must take before employing your first young worker.

 

  1. Provide Mentors

Especially in a business working in trades, mentors can be especially helpful to a young worker. When they have someone to learn from, minors can easily distinguish between a safe work practice or a non-safe work practice.

 

  1. Give Proper Training

Teaching a minor about safety in your business has to be structured differently than when you would try to teach an adult. Clear and brief messages tend to work the best. Hands on learning activities, where you perform the job and then ask the trainee to perform the task, also tend to stick well than lecture based trainings.

  1. Encourage Conversations

Just like when you talk to your adult workers, be sure minor workers in your business are comfortable speaking up with safety issues. A business’s safety plan works best when all employees and management are willing to work together to discuss safety concerns. Having a comfortable atmosphere to voice concerns helps this process immensely.


In the end, a young worker in your business can bring new viewpoints and ideas that you haven’t thought of before. As long as you take the steps necessary to keep them safe, hiring minors in your company can lead to an irreplaceable relationship.

How To Help The “Accident Prone” Worker

If you look back over your record keeping, is there someone in your business who’s always reporting injuries? With evidence such as this, you may start thinking this particular employee is just “accident prone” and nothing can be done to help them. Before jumping to conclusions on this issue, we suggest taking a good look at the work environment where your employee spends their day. There could be an important safety factor at play causing all of their accidents.

When addressing employees with multiple workplace accidents, take the time to examine these two points:

  • Task Factors – Sometimes an employee’s workspace or original job training is the culprit behind repeat accidents. To see if this is the case, read over both the job description and the training manual again to see if there is anything that might sound like it could lead to multiple accidents. We also suggest examining the work station for dangerous layouts or injury prone areas. Checking the climate, lighting, and risk exposure of the area is essential as well.

    Image courtesy of en.wikipedia.org

    Image courtesy of en.wikipedia.org

  • Organizational Factors – Ensuring that employees understand your business’ proper safety guidelines and have adequate access to safety equipment is paramount in reducing recurrent injuries. To help make sure this is the case, you should consider if you’re presenting  safety information in an easy to understand format during training experiences. You should also consider if the trainings are appropriate for the task your employee is performing. Finally, be sure to  regularly check that any  provided safety equipment (such as absorbent products, safety goggles, and work gloves) is in good condition.

In addition to taking internal steps to evaluate and address task and organizational factors, it’s important to take the time to sit down with your employee and get their side of the story. We recommend breaking this process down into two key steps:

 

  • Observe The Situation – Take the time out of your day to sit with your employee while they work. By putting yourself in their shoes, you can experience the work environment yourself. Can you properly see the work station in front of them? What is the condition of the safety equipment that your employee is using? All of this can be examined by watching your worker perform their tasks.
  • Listen To Concerns – It’s important not to dismiss the concerns of your employees. If they are coming to you with something they think is impacting their safety, be ready to listen and take notes. Rather than brushing off their notions, work together to discover how you can improve their work environment or make safety trainings more understandable.

In the end, the “accident prone” employee who always seems to be injuring himself at work could have a deeper underlying problem. By actively observing and listening to their concerns, you may be able to uncover a safety issue as the base of their behavior.

 

Keeping Yourself And Your Power Tools Safe

After working with tools day in and day out, handling work equipment often becomes second nature to employees. Unfortunately, when this type of mindset sets in, people don’t always remember to take the extra steps needed to properly care for their tools. However, failing to do this is a mistake, as properly tending to tools (especially power tools) with care ensures that devices lasts for a longer period of time – which is better for your company’s bottom line.

Additionally, taking the proper steps to handle power tools correctly reduces the risk of worker injury. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission notes that 400 electrocution accidents happen every year. They also report that faulty products (including power tools) attribute to almost 15 percent of those shocks.

Damaged cords alone cause a lot of electrocution problems for workers. Fortunately, avoiding cord damage in the first place can easily improve worker safety at your business. To prevent future cord damage:

  • Carry Tools Properly – When transporting tools, works should either carry them by the handle or transfer them using a box. Never hold tools by their cord, as this can cause damage to the equipment.
  • Unplug Tools From The Outlet – After each use, always unplug tools by firmly grasping the plug closest to the outlet. Never yank the cord. Handling the cord this way will reduce the risk of damage to the cord as well as the plug.
  • Keep Cords Away From Dangers – Before starting up your power tool, make sure your cord is far enough away from heat sources, fuel spills, and sharp objects to avoid damaging the tool – doing so prevents frayed wires and fire hazards.

    Image courtesy of pixabay.com

    Image courtesy of pixabay.com

In addition to taking the time to ensure the power tool won’t shock an employee, it’s important to remember that power tools can also cause damage in other ways. Old parts and accidental starts can cause a worker to be cut or punctured without warning. To prevent these kinds of accidents, we suggest that employees:

  • Continuously Perform Proper Maintenance – To keep your power tools working at top performance, purchase new parts on a regular schedule. Keeping up with a maintenance schedule reduces the risk of rust buildup and outdated parts damaging the tool. Also remember to regularly clean the device to prevent premature damage due to worksite by product buildup.
  • Gather Safety Materials – When operating power tools, wear fitted gloves, safety goggles, and ear plugs to help prevent unexpected injuries. Also, workers should always locate important pieces of safety equipment (such as fire extinguishers and spill absorbent products) before beginning their work.
  • Locate The Power Switch – Know where the manufacture installed the power switch on the power tool before plugging it in to avoid unintentionally turning it on. Then, make sure you keep your hands away from the area until you’re ready to begin the job.
  • Properly Mark Unsafe Tools –  If a power tool is found to be unsafe – frayed cords, outdated parts, etc. – clearly mark it as such and store it away from other tools until it can be disposed of properly.

As you can see, properly caring for your tools is easy for people in all occupations. By following these simple tips, anyone can care for their power tools and safely reduce the risk of injury to employees.

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