As you're developing your workplace safety checklists, you probably look at statistics to help you decide where to focus your efforts. Common issues deserve extra attention, and hand injuries are among the most common in almost any work environment. But they're also easy to overlook. Reiterating hand injury prevention techniques so often can feel like overkill, partly because the concepts seem like common sense. Besides, you have a limited budget for your safety materials, and you need to cover a lot of issues.
When employees think about hand safety on the work floor, they pay the most attention to big accidents. Losing a finger or getting their hand stuck in a machine does sound awful, but these mishaps are not nearly as common as the small, everyday injuries that can sideline a worker for weeks. In fact, hands are often involved in the three most common workplace injuries. Use these seven hand safety tips to remind your employees how comparatively minor injuries to the hands from cuts and punctures, falls and repetitive-use issues can add up to lost work time—not to mention frustrations in the rest of their lives.
Our hands and fingers are so integral to our daily lives that we often take them for granted. Unfortunately, many employees buy into the hand-safety myth that gloves are enough protection. Because of this, they don't always pay attention to other ways they can suffer a costly and painful finger injury that affects their work and life. Here are five effective ways—one for each finger on a hand—to drive home the message of finger safety.
As a health and safety manager, workplace safety is on your mind pretty much all the time. Unfortunately, floor workers and managers alike have different priorities, and safety compliance isn't always at the top of the list. Sure, they attend safety training meetings, but if they don't have a reason to remember the lessons they learned, those lectures can quickly fade from workers' memories once they return to the floor. That's where toolbox talks come in.
If you've started to get creative with training, workplace safety videos are probably on your radar as a way to engage your audience. But how do you choose the right clips to encourage your staff to take safety seriously without boring them to tears? Here are three ideas that get you closer to an integrated safety strategy that's both informative and entertaining.
When you think of safety topics for work, vulnerability probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind. It certainly wasn't for Tommy Chreene, an oil rig veteran working in the Gulf of Mexico in 1997. Around that time, Shell embarked on a massive project: building Ursa, the world's deepest oil drilling platform at that time. As part of the effort to build something no one had attempted before, Rick Fox, the Shell exec in charge of the project, scheduled workshops to help the riggers get in touch with their feelings.
Why is hand safety important? Human hands are the ultimate tools, capable of intricate and detailed work. But human stubbornness and resistance to change frequently get in the way of protecting our hands. Even when we think we're being careful, we often make decisions based on poor or incomplete information.
We've all heard the term "living document." It's a bit of a buzzword, but it's pretty accurate. Most procedures develop over time with minor changes that reflect new information or circumstances. As a safety manager, your workplace safety checklist (or checklists, since a large organization is bound to have plenty of them) should be a living document.
If there's one thing that safety managers have plenty of in the internet age, it's data. A quick visit to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics site offers enough information to keep any number cruncher happy for hours on end.
One of the best ways to improve workplace safety culture is to provide ongoing training. This keeps safety issues in focus and cements important information such as safe work practices in your employees' minds. Typically, ongoing training involves workplace health and safety lectures. While these are often effective, it pays to get creative and mix things up now and then.