COMMTECH GLOBAL WORK SAFETY TIPS & PRACTICES
Cultivating a safe work environment requires the right training and procedures put in place by management. At CommTech Global, safety is our number one priority for employees and clients alike. This commitment to safety, safe workplace practices, and adapting and innovating with the times provides a company culture that is unmatched.
We believe in sharing safe, practical workplace practices and offering tips for organizations to implement in their everyday operations.
Every month we will update our Work Safety Tips and Practices to improve your work environment to be safe and healthy for all.
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Maybe your organization already has a Work Safety Practice in place, but that doesn’t mean it should be stagnant. Recognize that as a company or organization grows, risk in the workplace can also grow.
Safety in the workplace should be your company’s number one priority. Employees should be able to recognize risk in their workspaces and must know the proper protocol to follow when identified – such as informing supervisors in the event of unsafe conditions, accidents or injury. Encourage employees to identify unsafe or problematic scenarios and take action to help mitigate those situations.
The safety of our field technicians is CommTech Global’s number one priority. As many field technicians and companies know, the management of those safety guidelines can be difficult given the circumstances of the work sites. What is the reasoning for that? Lets’ dive in. To read full article click here.
Don’t position your hands where they can be:
- Cut or punctured by sharp objects
- Burned by hot objects or chemicals
- Pinched between objects
- Struck by objects (stored energy)
Note: Gloves only provide protection for certain hazards. While proper gloves may prevent some injuries, your awareness is the ultimate defense.
- Proper planning for each job activity
- Checking material/equipment for rough or sharp edges before handling
- Making sure moving machinery is guarded
- Body and hand positioning – maintaining an effective barrier between hands and hazards by using tools or other aids
- Good housekeeping
Hands are the most important “tool” you will use – take care of them!
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HAND INJURY PREVENTION VISIT THE OSHA PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT GUIDE (Hand Protection pg. 22)
You may think that since you work in an office you don’t have to worry about being injured. However, offices can become dangerous because people don’t anticipate the potential hazards, and many people who work in them take their safety for granted.
Studies show that over one-fourth of office injuries are caused by falls.
In fact, falls of one kind or another account for almost half of the accidents occurring at the office. One-third of the falls incurred by women are due to wearing high heels, which make falls more likely. Consider wearing lower, wider heels. Other things that can cause falls are spills on floors, worn carpets or exposed carpet seams, electrical cords running across the floor, open desk or file drawers, boxes or supplies stored in aisles or waste baskets placed where you could trip over them. Look around to see if you can spot any of these potential problems. If you find any, take the time to get them fixed.
If you need to use stairs or steps to get to your office, watch out!
Falls on stairs cause more than 33,000 disabling work injuries in the US each year. About 2/3 of the workers falling on stairs were not using handrails when they fell. Many were carrying objects, or slipped on something left on the steps. Accidents on stairs are usually serious—80% of these falls result in lost work days. Use handrails, pick up anything you see on the stairs, don’t use stairs for storage and don’t try to carry things when using stairs if you can avoid it.
Use common sense with chairs, and don’t use them for anything except sitting.
Straight-back chairs aren’t recliners, so don’t lean way back—the chair could flip over. Chairs should never be used as replacements for stools or ladders. Most offices seem to have an intersection that needs a traffic light to keep people from bumping into each other. Be especially careful while carrying hot drinks. Don’t carry stacks of material so high that your vision is obstructed. Carrying this much material not only blocks your vision, but could also strain your back.
Watch out for avalanches if you pile “stuff” on top of filing cabinets.
Even a carefully stacked pile may start sliding due to vibration from opening and shutting file drawers.Also keep an eye out for overloaded upper file drawers. This may cause the entire filing cabinet to tip over on top of you when you open the drawer. Re-distribute some of the weight to the lower drawers to reduce this chance, and check to make sure the filing cabinet is bolted to the adjacent cabinet, if it can be done.
Some other tips to avoid injuries in the office:
- Avoid walking and reading at the same time. If it is important enough to read, then stop and read it.
- Never leave file cabinets open and unattended; never, not even for a minute. How long does it really take to open a file cabinet?
- Never run in the office. Nothing is so important that you must risk running into a co-worker.
- Leave your shoes on. If your shoes are too uncomfortable to wear all day, then wear different shoes. Running around the office barefoot is a sure way to stub a toe or pick up a staple.
- When you must carry files, don’t carry more than you are capable of. If you’re grunting or your muscles get tired, you’re carrying too much, and a back injury could be the result. Use a cart or make more trips.
- Avoid placing extension cords on the floor. Not only are they tripping hazard, but also they can become fire hazards.
- Never, ever put your fingers in an automatic stapler or stamper. Always unplug it before you try to unjam it.
- Always keep aisle ways clear. Never stack boxes or supplies in aisle ways or in front of egress paths. Never arrange offices with desks in front of exits.
- To prevent back strain, avoid bending at the waist when accessing low files. If you must access low files, either stoop down or get on your knees.
- Avoid twisting and reaching for files or other materials in your work station. Move your whole body to prevent back strain.
These are just a few tips that can make your office area safer. Look around, and you no doubt will spot other problems that can be easily fixed. When you see a hazard, don’t assume it is someone else’s responsibility. If you don’t do something about it, who will?
Read full post by Palm Beach State College HERE.
We are all trained to report any near misses, injuries, or incidents to a supervisor or safety representative. Often times however many of these incidents, especially first-aid type injuries, are not reported. Injuries are not reported because of many different reasons, but it is important to understand why all of them need to be.
Reasons Why Incidents Go Unreported
There are many reasons why incidents such as property damage, near misses, spills, and injuries go unreported. A major reason is often the individual’s pride. Most people do not want to admit their mistakes to others, especially at work. They may also fear the outcome of sharing what occurred with a supervisor. This fear may come from being afraid of being disciplined, what others think, or the repercussions from the incident. Another reason a person may not want to report an incident is because of the paperwork or energy involved in doing so. There are many other reasons why an individual may not want to share what happened to them, but this should never be the case.
Why it is Important to Report Injuries
There are many reasons why you should report any type of injury, no matter the severity. The most important reason is to make sure the situation or hazard is made safe for not only yourself, but the others at the worksite. Another reason is to further share your experience or the lessons learned from the incident with others to prevent it from occurring in the future.
With injuries, even just minor ones, it is important to get them looked at by a supervisor or safety representative. While many injuries, such as a small cut or an insect sting, may not seem like a big deal they can turn into one.
A quick example: You are bit by some type of insect on a Friday afternoon at work, but decide not to tell anyone for various reasons. You leave work and are home for a few hours when you notice that the bite area is beginning to swell up. Along with the swelling, you notice that you have hives and are having trouble breathing. You realize it is a serious allergic reaction and needs medical attention. You tell the doctor you were bit or stung at work and the treatment he gives you ends up being considered “medical attention”. Because it happened at work and you needed medical attention beyond first aid it is now an OSHA recordable injury. In this situation, there are a few problems since the injury was not reported to someone at work immediately.
1. There is no record or witness to it happening at work which could raise concern by the employer whether or not the injury occurred at work. This may end up in a drawn-out dispute since there have been many people in the past who have faked or had injuries off the job, but stated it occurred at work in an attempt for it to be paid through worker’s compensation.
2. If the injury was reported immediately someone may have been able to recognize that it may develop into an allergic reaction. There could have been options for first aid instead of medical treatment to treat the issue before it worsened which would have saved you a trip to the hospital and the company an OSHA recordable.
All injuries need to be reported, no matter how small. Not only does it protect you, but it also protects the company as a whole by possibly preventing a first aid injury developing into an OSHA recordable. You never know when something that seems minor in nature will develop into something more serious. There are also always lessons that can be learned, even from just minor injuries, to prevent others from occurring in the future.
Read full article by Safety Talk Ideas HERE.
Battling Complacency Safety Talk
Complacency is often a focal point when discussing workplace safety at many companies. For the most part, we understand what complacency is and what areas of work or life it affects us in. However, even though we may acknowledge it, we may not fully grasp the consequences it can have or what we need to do to overcome it.
How is complacency defined? Dictionary.com defines it as, “a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like”. Applying this definition to workers completing tasks however, leaves out a large sector of the workforce who are complacent in their work. The definition applies more to a less-experienced worker who is not trained to recognize hazards or an experienced worker who is totally unaware of a hazard in their area at a given moment.
Many of the workers who are in fact complacent with the hazards of a task are experienced and are well aware that they exist. The workers are not unaware of the risk but are more likely to accept the risks without taking the proper time or energy to address the hazards because they have been doing the work for so long. For workers who are experienced in their jobs and have become complacent with certain aspects or hazards of their job, it is important to take steps to avoid this error trap.
Battling Complacency on the Job
- Recognize work tasks that you may be so used to doing that you no longer take the same precautions when performing them. Think back to when you first got this job or the first time you did a specific task; were you more cautious or did you follow more safety procedures?
- Audit yourself or even have a coworker audit your work to see what your shortcomings may be when completing work tasks. Having someone else give you constructive feedback can help give you an honest look at where you can improve.
- Fight the urge to take the easy way out or make the easier decision when it comes to following safety rules or procedures. Rationalizing why you should allow yourself to cut corners leaves you open to more risk. Hold yourself and others around you accountable to do what needs to be done.
- Once you realize what risks you are leaving yourself exposed to begin to make it a habit to take the steps that mitigate or eliminate that hazard. Once an action is repeated over and over and has become a habit, it becomes automatic and it is much less likely you will have to face complacency to get yourself to do it.
We all have to face and fight off complacency from time to time. It is important to monitor yourself when it comes to complacency on the job. What corners are you cutting? Why are you cutting those corners? What do you need to address in order to resist complacency with the hazards of your work?
Read full article by Safety Talk Ideas HERE.
From slip resistant footwear to steel-toe boots, protecting your feet at work properly is vital to your safety and health. Choosing a safety shoe can become overwhelming due to the large variety of products throughout the market. More importantly, choosing appropriately sized shoes can make or break its effectiveness. Shoes that are too small or too big can lead to problems, so ensure your footwear is properly fitted.
Foot protection is required if you are exposed to any of the following and is specific to the hazard:
- Falling & Rolling Objects
- Chemical Hazards
- Biological Hazards
- Compression Hazards
- Electrical Hazards
- Puncture Hazards
Here are some helpful tips to guarantee your shoe fits!
Swell Your Feet
Throughout the day, the foot naturally becomes swollen with more blood. To ensure a proper fit, shop for new safety shoes towards the end of the day when the foot is at its largest. Since you will be working in these shoes and most likely on your feet the majority of time you wear them, it is necessary to closely mimic work-like conditions to ensure comfort.
Tie Them Up
When trying out prospective shoes, always tie them as if you were going to work. You wouldn’t wear your shoes untied on the job, would you? Simulate your work environment as close as possible, testing the shoes for grip and protection – with them laced, of course.
Do Not Assume a Size
There is a vast assortment of safety shoe brands; however, the actual sizing differs depending on the manufacturer. Just because you are a size 9 in one brand of steel toe boots, does not mean you are a size 9 in all brands. Try on different sizes from multiple brands to make certain you choose the best safety shoe for the job.
Wear the Correct Socks
Wear the type of socks you wear on the jobsite to the shoe store. Doing so will ensure that properly fitted safety shoes are purchased. Otherwise you risk the chance of your new safety shoes being too tight (if try them on wearing socks that are thinner than your normal work socks) or too loose (if you try them on wearing thicker socks than your normal work socks). Improperly fitted shoes can lead to blisters and other health risks.
Use the Infamous “Finger Test”
With any pair of shoes, it is recommended that you are able to fit your index finger between the heel of your foot and the heel of the shoe, as well as the top of your foot and the tongue of the shoe. This test ensures that you have proper “wiggle room” to comfortably move throughout your work day.
Replace When Worn
When safety shoes are at the end of their life span, do not continue to wear them-REPLACE THEM! A major reason is that the shoes do not adequately protect the feet if they are not in good condition. If your safety shoes are in disrepair, they need to be replaced.
The bottom line is that from work boots to slip-resistant shoes, choosing the proper work shoe is important. The effectiveness of a safety shoe is dependent upon various factors, but most important is ensuring that the shoe is the appropriate size. Use the tips outlined above to make certain that the next safety shoe you choose is as effective as the shoes you end up buying.
Read full article by Emory University HERE.