Top 10 Job Safety Ideas: Texas Workplace Injury Lawyers Discuss Ways to Make Jobs Safer
With a large number of America’s workforce working in dangerous industries such as oil and gas, manufacturing, shipping, trucking, and other hazardous jobs, employers should see worker safety as their first priority. Recent statistics have highlighted Texas’ poor record with regard to worker safety. Texas ranks at or near the very bottom for worker injuries and deaths depending on the year. In 2010, there were more than 450 worker fatalities in the State of Texas, and since that time, Texas has seen a significant increase in Oil & Gas production throughout the state. The current method of extracting the oil, hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is known to be dangerous due to the high pressure used and the chemicals involved.
Employers owe it to themselves to make safety a major priority. There are many ways to improve the safety of workers in your workplace, including identifying hazards ahead of time. Here are nine tips that could help keep workers safe by identifying hazards before they injure workers:
- Identify and Mitigate Job and Workplace Hazards – Before you can work to eliminate job and workplace hazards, everyone has to know what hazards are present. First, you have to identify and make a list of potential hazards, and then make that list widely available and recognized throughout the company. Everyone in the organization, including executives, managers, supervisors and workers, should be familiar with this list.
- Perform an Analysis of Job and Workplace Hazards – After making the list and identifying the risks, it’s necessary for employers to analyze those hazards, and then create a specific Job Hazard Analysis for all jobs and tasks in the workplace.
- Develop Hazard Awareness Programs – Create a program that is specific to each plant or facility under your control. Follow OSHA guidelines to include a comprehensive hazard communication and process safety management system that will make all workers part of the safety process.
- Protect Workers from Slips, Trips and Falls – Such hazards are very common causes of workplace injuries. Identify and sign permanent hazards, but realize that such incidents are often difficult to foresee, because new hazards pop up every day. So make daily inspections before performing work part of your workplace routine.
- Create a hand/finger safety program – Since hands are the part of the body most likely to be injured at work, any comprehensive hazard mitigation program should include identification of hazards such as hot spots, rotating equipment, pinch points, and automated machinery that pose a danger to the hands. Provide the proper Personal Protective Equipment, but supervisors and workers should recognize the limitations. Make sure workers are aware that gloves and guards only work most of the time.
- Prepare for Eye Injuries – Injuries to eyes are right behind hand injuries, even though most are easily preventable, through the proper use of the right type of eye protection. Employers also need to identify the areas where eye protection is needed, and provide the proper type. The includes identifying places where intense heat, chemicals, dust/airborne particles, radiation, or any other eye irritant is present.
- Develop an Emergency Action Plan – Employers should specify teach and every worker’s role in the event of a workplace emergency, and every employee should know how and where to evacuate, should that be necessary. Have maps of the workplace easily available, listing all possible evacuation routes.
- Prepare and Prevent Injuries – Perform regular inspections using checklists, preventive maintenance programs and regular worksite inspections. Consider employing a Safety Management Systems to help, as well.
- Prepare Contractors for Safety – Make sure your safety requirements are readily available and effectively communicated to contractors and their employees, so that they can work safely and effectively with your regular workers.
Worker safety must be a priority of employers and employees alike. Training must focus on safety. Workers must be screened before they are hired to identify dangerous behaviors such as substance abuse. And, job sites must be monitored to ensure safe practices are followed and shortcuts are not employed that make the job more dangerous. If you have been injured or lost a loved one by a work related injury, you may have a claim against an employer for failing to uphold their duty to maintain a safe worksite. If you have questions regarding workplace safety, call the Texas Workplace Injury Lawyers at Hill Law Firm today.