Three Workplace Safety Essentials

As an employer, you have a duty to keep your employees safe while they’re working for you. Much of this is about having common sense as everyone goes about their daily business, but there are a few things that you need to have present in just about any workplace to ensure that it’s safe.

Safety first

Here are three of the things you should check off the list the next time you review your safety credentials; many are legal obligations so it’s essential that you’ve got them.

Fire Extinguisher

In most places of work it is a requirement that you have the necessary fire-fighting equipment present and working at all times; after all, you never know when a fire might break out. Usually this will mean keeping an extinguisher nearby, filled with the correct substance for the most likely fuel you are likely to encounter. This may also mean that you need a fire blanket.

The fire triangle shows that any fire needs fuel, oxygen and heat, and firefighting equipment is designed to deny it one of those ingredients. Differing fuels might require different methods to extinguish them – sometimes the extinguisher is there to prevent the chemical reaction happening, and other extinguishers and blankets cover the fire and deny it the oxygen it requires.

First-Aid Kit

Accidents can happen even in places where it appears there are no real hazards, and when they do, it’s important that your trained first aider is there to be able to give the necessary care. First aid kits are inexpensive, so there’s no excuse for not having one.

They often come in a variety of different sizes and with different equipment inside. It’s best to use common sense here; if you’re in a large office with many employees then you don’t want to run out of things like plasters, and if sharp implements are common you should stock more capable first aid supplies.

You can find out more about what needs to go into the box at the Health and Safety Executive website; this comes from the UK government department responsible for ensuring health and safety standards are maintained.

Hazard Signs

A simple wet floor sign can make the difference between a normal day at the office, and someone slipping and breaking something in the kitchen. Make sure that you’ve got a couple on hand for when the cleaners are in, or even if something is spilled. It only takes a few seconds to put one out when a hazard is identified.

Similarly, you should make sure that anything else hazardous in the workplace is properly market out to employees. This could be anything from an uneven floor or step, to taps that supply very hot water. If heavy equipment like pallet trucks (such as the ones available over on handlingequipmentonline.com) are being used in the area, then visitors need to know.

Health and safety equipment is purposefully affordable to all businesses, so there shouldn’t be any reason that you can’t ensure your workplace has everything it needs to either prevent hazards or deal with accidents.

Photo credit: Craig Bennett / Flickr

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