While most businesses share similar general safety concerns, each industry has specific hazards that employees and employers must be vigilant to avoid. Workplace injuries can cause significant disruption and trauma for the injured worker and their family, fellow employees, and the company. With a focus on making all workplaces safer, reducing injuries, and helping employers and employees understand and avoid common hazards, here are the top safety concerns across the five industries.

Transportation: Driver safety

Driver safety, especially preventable accidents, has long been a top safety concern for the transportation industry. Ensuring the health and safety of both drivers and those they share the road with, driver safety programs are essential to addressing this safety concern.

While even a basic program is better than nothing at all, a comprehensive driver safety program helps ensure a safer work environment for drivers and safer roads for other drivers by establishing policies and procedures for the entire fleet. A comprehensive program should include screening, testing, inspection, and ongoing training of all fleet drivers and team members. Additionally, programs should include vehicle inspection, repair, and maintenance plans to help avoid accidents due to equipment failure. Check out How to Establish a Fleet Safety Program to learn more about how to keep your fleet drivers safe on the roadways.

Manufacturing: Hazardous energy

During the service and maintenance of machinery and equipment, the unexpected startup of the machine or release of stored electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, or thermal energy can result in the serious injury or death of manufacturing workers. Employers and employees must follow proper lockout/tagout procedures to prevent these unexpected releases of hazardous energy.

OSHA’s lockout/tagout procedures help safeguard employees when servicing or conducting maintenance on manufacturing equipment. Lockout/tagout procedures outline the specific measures needed to control different types of hazardous energy. OSHA’s lockout/tagout standards also require employers to train every worker to ensure that they know, understand, and follow proper hazardous energy control measures.

Office: Slips, trips, and falls

From wet floors and exposed cords to loose rugs and cluttered areas, slips, trips, and falls pose one of the most common safety concerns for office work environments. While a simple slip may not seem like a serious hazard, slips, trips, and falls account for the largest number of overall injury reports across all industries.

Rain, snow, and ice conditions can contribute to the potential for slips, trips, and falls, particularly on steps, ramps, entry and exit areas, and tile floors. Non-slip runners, mats, and ice-melting products can help reduce the likelihood of these types of accidents. Additionally, special attention should be paid to housekeeping procedures, like sweeping and mopping, during inclement weather.

Housekeeping and proper storage of items should be part of your regular daily safety protocol. Boxes should be kept out of walkways. Telephone and electrical cords should be properly secured, not stretched across walkways. Read 3 Most Avoidable Workplace Accidents for more tips to help your employees avoid slip, trip, and fall accidents.

Retail: Overexertion

In retail work environments, overexertion is a common safety issue due to excessive physical effort. Standing for long periods, walking, frequent bending to restock merchandise, and heavy lifting can cause inflammation of the joints and ligaments that can result in discomfort, pain, and even debilitating injury for some.

To avoid or limit the impact of overexertion injuries, encourage employees to stretch before doing heavy lifting or strenuous activity, use hand carts whenever possible to move products, use proper lifting techniques, and avoid over-reaching and twisting when lifting.

Construction: Falls

Construction consistently ranks among the most hazardous industries for workers. One of the greatest risks to those working in construction is the risk of fall injuries. Whether due to error, lack of guardrails, or not using a personal fall arrest system, falls can be an extremely serious and deadly threat to construction workers.

To help prevent fall-related injuries, employers in the construction field are required to provide fall protection systems for workers when walking on or working on surfaces with unprotected sides that are six feet above ground or higher. This fall protection can include safety nets, guardrails, and personal fall arrest systems.

Employees must familiarize themselves with potential fall hazards on each job site and never work in areas where fall protection systems have not yet been installed. Employees should inspect personal fall arrest systems before each use to ensure that they are free of damage and in proper working order.

Your partner in safety

The health and safety of your employees is a top concern for your company and is priority number one for Sheakley Workforce Management Services. Our experts are here to assist you in developing better policies and safety programs to help you achieve your safety goals.

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