Accident-Prevention Tips for Safety Managers: Making Workplace Safety a Priority

Every year, approximately 2.3 million people die in workplace-related accidents, and there is a pressing need to turn the tide on these preventable deaths by address these safety issues, worker behaviour, and reporting.

Future workplace injuries can be predicted with accuracy rates as high as 80-97% as indicated by a recent study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University. Based on extensive data and applying powerful modelling tools sets construction companies mainly could predict and prevent workplace accidents, resulting in a stronger safety culture and workplace productivity as well as monetary savings.

Overview

To unlock trends and patterns, predictive analytics relies on machine learning using advanced techniques such as decision trees, support vector machines, and neural networks.

Consistently, construction companies are collecting more and more workplace safety data in the form of safety inspections, analyzes, audits and so on. Nonetheless, this level is posed with a danger that the returning data will be so general as to be unusable at regional or site-specific levels.

Current options

In the meantime, what are the alternatives to predicting the future? Over the past number of decades, the construction industry and the health and safety industry has built an excellent best practice models with the aid of modern technology into their workplaces, and that work continues today. Attending health and safety briefings along with, more than likely, site-specific training is made compulsory to anybody working in any high-risk industry.

Best solution

To combating workplace dangers, these essential elements have a considerable impact on highlighting hazards, staff training in hazard prevention and protocols and workplace accidents. However, they can be made to be more consistent with online rather than face-to-face versions of same as they are time-consuming to implement.

The best starting place for these online inductions and online orientations is by tackling what is called the ‘Fatal Four’ that account for about 57% of all construction sites deaths. These are:

  • Falls 36%
  • Caught between objects 2%
  • Electrocutions 9%
  • Struck by objects 10%

To highlight and institute preventative practices, these are relatively straightforward, and they will reap the rewards regarding saving lives which is, ultimately, the goal of all these programs.

Conclusion

The best way to forestall this kind of incidents is to use predictive health and safety technology to forecast possible occurrences while also to use online training (inductions) to reduce this number significantly.

Beakon offers incident, injury, and safety management software to help combat issues like this. If your company is not currently using software to manage these key aspects of your business, you should start today. Our free trial can help you dip your toes into using software to stay ahead and keep your employees safe.

Visitor Management 101: 3 Questions to Ask Before Letting Someone Onto Your Worksite.

When you oversee worksites, it is essential to know who is visiting your site, for what reason they are visiting, and whether you have all that you have to give them the green light for their visit. On the off chance that you don’t have the foggiest idea about who’s going onto your site – or on the off chance that you don’t have all the data you have to clear them – you can end up managing safety issues, obligation issues, and potential issues.

So, what, precisely, do you have to know before letting somebody onto your site?

 

Question #1 – Does the person have the proper clearance to visit or access the site?

The main thing you have to know is regardless of whether a visitor has clearance to enter your work facility. Anybody can stroll in from the road and request to visit your worksite; it is fundamental that before you let them in, you know whether they have a reason – and consent – to be there.

The individual well on the way to know regardless of whether a visitor is approved to visit a site is the individual that welcomed them. That is the reason it is vital to have a framework at registration that captions the correct contact of their visitor’s arrival and enables them to affirm the visitor has clearance to enter the site.

 

Question #2 – Does the person have the best possible safety training required to enter the site?

Work locales present certain perils, and it is essential that each visitor that goes ahead site knows about any potential threats or insurances they have to take to explore the work site securely.

Before you let somebody onto your site, it is fundamental to guarantee they’ve experienced any security acceptances or preparing your organization has set up – and that you have a record that they’ve finished them.

Ensuring each visitor finishes your security enlistments or preparing and sees how to explore the site will guarantee that everybody on location acts appropriately and maintains the safety measures set up.

 

Question #3 – Where is this individual checking into the worksite from?

If you have multiple points of entry, it is essential to know where your visitor is checking in from.  If you do not track a visitor’s purpose of entry before they enter a vast work site, you increment the odds of them losing all sense of direction in a conceivably dangerous region.

If you know where they’re going to the place before their visit, you (or they’re on location contact) can guarantee they have the data they have to explore that specific territory and get to where they have to go quicker, more secure, and all the more productively.

Visitor management is a necessary component of running a sheltered and productive work site. In any case, the visitor management process can be a testing one – on the off chance that you don’t have the correct devices.

With Beakon, you can go without much of a stretch deal with your visitors from one simple to-utilize application. Through Beakon, you can track different registration focuses, convey vital security data, gather essential distinguishing proof and marks, and alarm nearby contacts when visitors arrive.

Start today for FREE with a no-obligation trial.

4 Health and Safety Training Methods Every Safety Manager Must Know

Employees in all businesses are exposed continuously to workplace risks that may endanger their health and safety. To drive home the point, reports indicate that several business-related fatalities occur in Australia every year.

Diverse workplaces present distinctive dangers, making it essential for organizations to give health and safety training to keep workers prepared, and also to refresh their knowledge all the time.

OHS experts have a few training strategies accessible to them. Some are suited for specific sorts of instruction, and each has its advantages. Diverse techniques require more prominent or lesser participation, and training officers can utilize one or more of these strategies.

Here are five central training systems.

 

  1. Instructor-Led Training

Instructor-led training stays a standout amongst the most prevalent training systems. Teachers, frequently called facilitators, convey exercises in a classroom, e-learning, or self-managed workshops.

Handouts and other intelligent techniques can be utilized together with PowerPoint introductions and recordings to clarify work health and safety subjects.

 

  1. Interactive Procedures

Some creative training techniques include:

  • Small Gathering Dialogs: Members are isolated into small gatherings and offered subjects to examine. This is an incredible method to share learning.
  • For complicated or specialized sessions, you can conduct tests every once in a while. This keeps trainees engaged and active.
  • Contextual analyses: This gains by the issue arranged state of mind. Breaking down occupation-related circumstances enables employees to handle comparable situations.
  • Questions & Answers Sessions: Question and answer sessions are compelling with little gatherings of specialists for refreshing and fortifying aptitudes.
  • Re-Enactment: Accepting jobs and carrying on situations causes employees to figure out how to handle different situations they encounter with work.

You can bring devices or gear as a significant aspect of the training to exhibit to employees.

 

  1. Hands-On Training

Another technique that is often tried out is Cross Training. Cross training enables employees to encounter different occupations in the work environment. Features include:

  • Training through an exhibit, which is excellent for instructing employees to utilize new hardware securely.
  • Spotlights on enhancing execution by tending to the necessities of individual employees
  • Shapes unpracticed specialists to fit into particular occupations

Also, cross training is an incredible approach to rehearse or practice skills and abilities most employees wouldn’t know even existed.

 

  1. E-Learning

Numerous organizations have employees in various areas, making eye-to-eye training unfeasible. Everybody approaches the web today making it workable for organizations to prepare on the internet.

To do this successfully, a company will need to use a learning management system or LMS. Examples of what you can do in your organisation with an LMS include:

  • Online training: This technique benefits PC constructed training modules concerning the web that is accessible using the organization’s intranet or site.
  • Video Conferencing: Coach in one area and trainees scattered in a few areas and associated either using phone or web talk.
  • Sound Conferencing: Like video conferencing, however, includes sound. Members can call or email the moderator.

To figure out how Beacon’s suite of software programs can change your health and safety program, get a free trial today.

4 Steps to Use Technology to Identify Workplace Hazards

Would technology be able to assist you with identifying workplace hazards? Completely. Indeed, an ever-increasing number of associations are finding that by utilising OHS software, they are ready to decrease workplace risks and work all the more effective.

One of the initial moves toward achieving an agreeable health and safety standard is to recognise the hazards special to your workplace. Workplace hazards change from industry to industry, and they can even shift among various organisations inside a similar industry. These hazards rely upon numerous variables: the sorts of work your employees do, the size and state of your offices, the number of your staff and much more.

In this post, we will take a gander at how to utilise technology to recognise workplace hazards. Once you have distinguished these, you are in a great position to decrease your risks and enhance your employee’s workplace conditions.

 

  1. Utilise ISO Standards

Global safety standards like those spread out by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) can assist associations with operating by health and safety best practices. These standards are constantly renewed, and on the off chance that you generally remain consistent with the standards, you will never fall behind.

Utilising OHS software that can enable you to screen your consistency with these standards can assist you with staying in front of any progressions or even potential risks.

 

  1. Make a Simple Reporting System

As a rule, the people who are entrusted with managing workplace safety are not acquainted with the average working status of everybody in the organisation. That is the reason it is imperative to make a simple to-utilise detailing framework that makes it feasible for labourers to report unfriendly working conditions or issues that need your consideration.

These could be fundamental issues, for example, a seat rail that has turned out to be free, or they could be substantially more significant issues like provocation issues or perils related to harmful synthetic compounds. Without input from representatives, it is hard to consider every contingency. Even better, utilise OHS software like Beacon that enables workers to effortlessly report health and safety issues from any gadget, progressively.

 

  1. Calendar Regular Reviews

Once you have settled on the reception of safety standards for your association, you will have to survey your criteria and ensure that you are consistent frequently. This should be possible through regular assessments, input from specialists, month-to-month reports and different measures.

With OHS software, it is significantly less demanding to remain over these surveys. You can electronically plan your studies and naturally send suggestions to everybody engaged with the audit procedure. You can set up electronic agendas for the investigators to utilise, which will typically make professionally designed reports. You can likewise fuse worker input into your surveys and reports.

 

  1. Carry Out Risk Assessments

Once you have distinguished the hazards inalienable to your workplace, you can utilise innovation to handle the following stage, a risk evaluation. Of the considerable number of risks you ran over in your survey, which ones merit the most consideration? Which ones ought to be tended to quickly? With limited assets, you will likely need to organise the risks and address the most squeezing ones first. Utilise your OHS software to make and keep up a Risk and Control Register, which will enable you to picture which risks ought to get earnest consideration.

 

Conclusion

These are only a couple of the manners in which you can utilise innovation to distinguish workplace hazards. We urge you to experiment with a free demo of our OHS software so you can perceive how this innovation can assist your association with reducing risk and stay consistent. Enhance your organisation by making a culture of commitment and responsibility; make health and safety a need. For more information, get a free trial or contact us today.

Actionable Insight: A Must-Have for Safety Management Software

Safety management software provides a more powerful alternative to paper-based systems and spreadsheets. It helps to identify trends, determine the root causes of incidents and oversee planned actions.

To be quite honest, gathering safety data, is very easy.  The hard part is making sense of it of the captured data. Most organisations do a wonderful job with capturing safety data. Common methods include good old-fashioned paper or a combination of digital files and spreadsheets.

However, few companies are effectively able to convert the gathered data into centralised, actionable insight. Without actionable insight, all the data in the world is useless. It is what can be done with the data that is more important.

Common drawbacks

While spreadsheets may seem like the best course of action, issues like re-entry errors can actually lead to spotty information and other inefficiencies. Paper documents can easily be misplaced or improperly filed. All these are common drawbacks of traditional safety management systems and none of them provides actionable insights.

The role of safety management software

Safety management software provides a more efficient alternative to traditional methods of safety management. The software automatically manages data and allow for trends, root causes and plan actions to all be identified in real time.

One of the core components of any risk reduction program is safety data analysis. However, identification and corrective actions also play a significant role. It is quite unfortunate, though; that these efforts can quickly become useless when there is lack of proper communication channels.

Beakon’s safety management software provides proper identification of risks to enable the appropriate people within the organization take corrective actions. As these violations are amended, the possibility to help your safety team validate the accuracy of the Corrective Action plans and also capture all the visual evidence of safe conditions makes it a very useful tool.

Communication methods of safety management systems

One of the most effective ways of keeping your safety team accountable for safety is continuous communication. However, effective communication can be very time-consuming especially when it comes to managing it alongside everyday tasks and deadlines.

The more specific and tailored the communication is, the more impact it has and the more it sticks to your members. Beakon’s safety management software has a reporting feature that can easily automate all communication tasks as well as provide other additional benefits.

Conclusion

The first step towards driving change and improvement in your organisation is by making sense of your safety data. The right software ensures accurate safety data is available to those who need it, when they need it. Take advantage of Beakon’s safety management software by signing up for a free trial today.

Permit to Work Systems: The Challenges and Opportunities Safety Managers Ought To Know

The permit ensures that all essential safety data is made known, communicated, and understood by an organisation’s staff. Confined area entry is a typical example of a type of work where permits are needed and necessary.

A permit to work system is a document that features an outline of the work to be performed, hazards enclosed, necessary precautions, needed authorizations, and other relevant data needed to get any high-risk job done. The document is a written record authorizing a specific job, in a specific location, and for a specific timeframe.

Objectives of Permit to Work Systems

Traditionally, permit to work systems were derived from industries in extremely high-risk industries as a best practice for managing dangerous work activities such as hot work or confined space entry. The system was designed to make sure that all risks involved were properly assessed for every single job activity.

The authorisation process gives the ability to coordinate all work activities in order to prevent any possible risk(s) that would be created by simultaneous operations. Basically, companies try to achieve the following objectives with a permit to work system:

  • To create a process to help manage hazardous work safely
  • To create a process that incorporates risk assessments with permit coordination
  • To ensure the work to be done is scoped and risk is properly analyzed
  • To gain real-time visibility in order to coordinate work activity
  • To obtain enough data to help optimise processes and conduct all investigative work

All these objectives work together to make a permit to work systems one of the most important components of any organisation that operates within high-risk industries.

Challenges and Opportunities for Permit to Work Systems

When organisations deploy electronic permit to work systems (ePTW) in their companies, they must properly ensure the process does not become a default, back-office activity that they set and forget. Instead, it needs to be a continuous process executed by anyone performing work to make sure risks are identified and proper controls are put in place.

Safety managers face the challenge of not only driving improvements in their company’s EHS programs, but they are also under pressure to ensure that they do not undermine operational efficiency in the process. Therefore, safety managers are must look for smart and simple solutions to help them tackle this complex issues and Beakon’s all-in-one safety management software is the solution.

 

Not only does our software have ePTW systems, but it also comprises other important safety components such as injury management, contractor onboarding, and risk assessment among others. You can take advantage of a free trial of our software today to begin enjoying the ease of use our clients have grown accustomed to already.

 

The Uses of a Permit to Work System in Any Organisation

Every organisation must keep their employees and independent contractors safe. Several safety procedures have been put in place to act as a guideline for companies to operate. One great example is the permit to work system.

A permit to work system (PTW) is a formally documented system implemented in high-risk activities and often found in high-risk industries. Examples of such sectors where a permit to work systems are relied on heavily are Construction and Manufacturing.

Usually, a permit to work system is issued by a manager, supervisor or project manager. The purpose of the document is to allow employees to carry out required tasks under specific conditions. In other words, the document authorises workers to carry out high-risk functions at specific times and under specific conditions.

The primary purpose of a permit to work system is to eliminate risk. Risky tasks such as working on electrical systems, working with hot equipment, excavations, certain lifting operations and working at height or in confined spaces. A detailed permit to work system eliminates any associated risks and gives you the peace of mind required to take your tasks forward.

How a Permit to Work System cuts down operational risks

There are several ways through which a permit to work system makes a high-risk task safe to handle. We cover the basics below.

A permit to work system gives written permission to carry out a task

Project managers or supervisors sign off a permit to work systems after ensuring certain parameters are met on the site premises. Also, because the permit to work is continuously updated as tasks are carried out, it serves as a form of evidence or paper trail. Information captured includes the description of the task that was done and the name of the worker(s) involved.

A permit to work system ensures every aspect of the work is planned and checked

For a project to run efficiently and also meet health and safety standards, it needs to have a tried and tested framework. A permit to work system captures every aspect of the framework and walks worker(s) through it. This ensures every aspect of that framework is adhered to and makes the workplace safer.

A permit to work system provides a procedure to support a risk assessment

Specific high-risk work needs to go through a risk assessment before action can be carried out. A permit to work system prevents workers from working on that project until the risk assessment has been carried out and the necessary changes implemented.

A permit to work system provides a procedure for returning the work area to a safe state on completion of the work

Ensuring that a workplace is safe to return after the high-risk work has been completed is essential. A permit to work system makes that a breeze. Using Beakon’s permit to work software enables your workers to follow the necessary procedure to return a work area to its original safe state.

Conclusion

Every organisation operating in a high-risk industry ought to implement a permit to work system in their company. The system enables them to keep their workers safe.

Additionally, the permit to work system serves as a guideline for independent contractors to operate in a manner that adheres to your organisation’s health and safety procedures.

Are you using software to streamline your company’s permit to work system? If not, then you should take advantage of a free trial of our software.

5 Benefits of Implementing a Visitor Management System in Your Organisation

For many businesses, paper-based visitor management systems such as guest books and nametags are the only visitor management system they ever operate. The problem with these outdated, manual systems is that they are challenging to keep track of and very time-consuming to document.

Most importantly, these outdated systems lack the type of protection your organisation requires when it comes to managing unwanted visitors.  However, a modern visitor management system, like Beakons visitor management software, can quickly fix these problems.

Listed below are 5 top benefits of using a visitor management system for your organisation.

  1. A visitor management system improves building security and employee safety

Two critical factors that remain a top priority for many organisations are the security and safety. That is the security of your facilities and the safety of your employees.

Using a software-based visitor management system for your company helps with proper identification of visitors quickly, effectively and accurately.

 

  1. A good visitor management system will save your organisation money

Reducing operational costs is a significant factor in the growth of any company. While not immediately obvious, having a poor visitor management system will cost you money.

Breach of security, identity theft, paper documents and files are all examples of operational costs of a paper-based visitor management system. However, Beakon’s visitor management software will help you streamline and automate the entire visitor registration process.

  1. Implementing Visitor management software will increase your organisation’s efficiency

Overall efficiency is a must-have for today’s businesses. Every aspect of your organisation must be operating in an agile way otherwise the chances of a new startup coming to shake things up would be inevitable.

For your company to keep leading the charge, your company must be operating at full capacity. Aspects of your business such as operations, manufacturing or production, and even marketing are all examples. Visitor management is also an important part, and Beakon’s software can help.

Visitor management software leverages your facility’s cameras, scanners and other identification software you currently use to screen all your visitors, register and badge them automatically. Your lobby staff will also be notified of any visitor’s arrival, thus saving time.

  1. A modern visitor management system provides you with visibility and accountability.

An excellent visitor management system allows you to identify anyone who is in your building or site. Not only that, but it also allows you to track and detect not only where people are, but where they have been.

Our visitor management software provides a detailed log about who has visited your site and where they visited. This information will come in handy in the event of any catastrophic event.

Additionally, recording the data of your building or site’s visitors will provide evidence in the case of any other probabilities. Doing this ensures your company remains accountable.

 

  1. Visitor management software provides flexibility and the ability to grow with your business

Flexibility and scalability are the hallmarks of any excellent visitor tracking system. A good visitor management software can easily be customised to fit your organisation’s needs.

Beakon’s visitor management software is a great tool that does all that more. With a simple to use interface, our visitor management system gives you the flexibility to make changes as fast as you want.

To take advantage of our software without any financial commitment, grab our free trial today.

 

 

Top Reasons Why You Should Implement an Injury Management System in Your Organisation

Nobody says running a business was easy. From managing your employees (and contractors) to ensure your workplace is safe and compliant with all the necessary regulations, not to mention keeping a good eye on your finances, there are many moving parts to running a successful company.

However, one aspect of running a business that is often always overlooked, and yet essential, is injury management and return to work. Any business with employees is required to have an injury management system in place as well as an effective return to work program.

What is an Injury Management System and Return to Work Program?

An injury management system and a return to work program are the same. It is a requirement for all businesses, and it is designed to help injured workers make an early (and safe) return back into the workplace.

The system requires three entities to run smoothly. The first is the employer (your company), the second is a medical management team, and finally, the third is the insurer. All three parties must work together to ensure that employees are quickly reintegrated back into the workforce as soon as they are medically fit.

Benefits of Implementing an Injury Management System in Your Organisation

There are several benefits to implementing an injury management system in your organisation. Examples of these include:

  • The Ability to Retain Experienced Workers: The strength of any company lies in its workforce. Therefore, it is essential to do everything possible to keep highly motivated, top-performing employees in your company for as long as possible. Implementing an injury management system ensures that workers are quickly treated and integrated back into your workforce.
  • The Opportunity to Reduce Expenses: One of the secrets to growing any businesses is to reduce costs and increase profit. While it might seem like spending to take care of an injured employee is expensive, it is a cost-saving measure in the long term. This is because implementing an injury management system eliminates the need to hire and train a new employee as a replacement for the injured one. Additionally, it reduces the chances of paying high compensations costs to the injured worker.
  • It Helps Build Better Employee Relations: Employee-loyalty is quickly becoming outdated with more and more workers embracing the freelancing model. Unlike decades ago when companies expect employees to start and end their careers at their organisation, things are much different now. Implementing an injury management system in your organisation enables you to demonstrate to your employees that you can care about their welfare, thus eliciting loyalty from them.

Implementing an injury management system is no longer hard. This is because Beakon’s Injury Management System and Return to Work Module can be used to create, store and track all Workers Compensation information. It should be noted that this software could also be integrated with our Incident Reporting system, thus allowing companies to consolidate all documentation in a secure and confidential platform. You can grab a free trial here to see how this software can be quickly deployed across your organisation.

 

 

Office Safety Part 2: 15 More Tips for a Safer Office

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In our last post we listed 10 tips to keep your office environment safe for employees, and in this article we continue with 15 more tips and common work-safety issues that employers and safety officers need to keep in mind to maintain a safe workplace.

Vision problems

Although looking at a computer monitor cannot damage your eyes, spending a large portion of your workday at the computer can cause eyestrain, according to Chicago-based Prevent Blindness America. Eyes can become dry and irritated, and workers may begin having trouble focusing. A few work area adjustments can help alleviate some of these issues.

1- Dim the lights and use task lamps
Florescent lights in office buildings often are too bright for optimal vision. According to the American Optometric Association, light that is at about half-normal office levels is preferred. This can be achieved by removing some bulbs from overhead fixtures. If more light is needed for a particular task, the British Columbia Public Service Employee Relations Commission recommends providing individual task lamps rather than increasing overall lighting. The commission cautions that lightbulbs in task lamps should be fully recessed to avoid the creation of a bright spot in the worker’s line of vision.

2- Correctly position monitors
Prevent Blindness America recommends workers place their computer monitors slightly below eye level and 20-26 inches from their eyes. Screens that can tilt or swivel are especially beneficial. “Your eyes’ resting position is a few degrees below the horizon when you’re looking straight ahead,” Paquette said.

3- Minimize screen glare
The American Optometric Association points to screen glare as a major cause of eyestrain in the office. To minimize strain, avoid positioning monitors opposite open windows, or be sure to always close shades or blinds. A glare reduction filter also can be used.

4- Wear the right glasses
Workers should tell their eye doctor if they spend a large portion of the day working on the computer, the association recommends. The doctor can check the efficiency of vision at 20-30 inches – the typical distance a computer monitor should be placed. Glasses are available for computer use that allow the wearer to see the full monitor without having to excessively strain the neck.

5- Increase font size on computer
Small font sizes on the computer can strain both your vision and your neck, as workers tend to pull the head forward to view smaller print. A simple adjustment to the font size on the computer screen can eliminate the need for this. “In many software programs, you can use the CTRL-scroll up or down or CTRL+ or CTRL- to increase or reduce the size of the page you are looking at,” Paquette said.

6- Take a break
Giving your eyes a rest and allowing them to focus on things at varying distances can help reduce strain and fatigue. OSHA recommends workers take a 10-minute break for every hour spent on the computer. These breaks can include working on tasks that require your eyes to focus on objects at a further range.

Fire safety

Local fire departments responded to approximately 3,830 office fires each year between 2004 and 2008, according to the Quincy, MA-based National Fire Protection Association. On average, these fires caused four civilian deaths and 37 civilian injuries annually. Some routine inspections around the office can help reduce the likelihood of fire causing such devastation.

7- Maintain cords in good repair
According to the Office of Compliance, damaged and ungrounded power cords pose a serious fire hazard and violate safety codes. Cords should be inspected regularly for wear and taken out of service if they are frayed or have exposed wire. Further, cords should never be used if the third prong has been damaged or removed. Make sure cords are not overloading outlets. The most common causes of fires started by extension cords are improper use and overloading. Extension cords should be approved by a certifying laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories, and only used temporarily to connect one device at a time.

8- Inspect space heaters
If employees use space heaters, verify the devices are approved for commercial use and have a switch that automatically shuts off the heater if the heater is tipped over, the Office of Compliance suggests. Further, make sure space heaters are not powered through an extension cord or placed near combustible materials such as paper.

9- Never block fire sprinklers
Furniture and tall stacks of materials can block the range of fire sprinklers, reducing their effectiveness in the event of an emergency. Objects should never be placed higher than 18 inches below sprinkler heads to allow a full range of coverage, according to the Office of  Compliance.

10- Do not block escape routes or prop open fire doors  
Items never should be stored along an emergency exit route. These paths should remain free of clutter, according to OSHA. Fire doors should not be held open by unapproved means (such as with a garbage can or chair), as this creates a significant fire hazard.

Administrative controls

In addition to employee training and improved equipment, certain administrative controls can aid hazard recognition and the elimination of potentially dangerous situations.

11- Conduct walk-throughs
Periodically walking around the office can help with hazard recognition and maintenance of ergonomic task design. Turina recommended employers conduct an ergonomics screen of every workstation at least once a year. “Employee complaints are invaluable in the process, but yearly reassessments can help to ensure that a good fit is maintained between employee and workstation,” he said.

12- Monitor signs of musculoskeletal disorders
Recognizing the symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders can alert employees of the need to make an ergonomics alteration to their workstation. But workers need to know what those warning signs are. “Lots of musculoskeletal injuries developing from poor ergonomics start out asymptomatically and can become quite severe by the time an employee starts to experience symptoms,” Turina said. Pay attention to any pain, fatigue, numbness or weakness, as these may be signs of an ergonomics problem and the start of a more serious MSD.

13- Talk to employees about their concerns
Simply asking workers how they are feeling can go a long way toward recognizing hazards. “Employers need to take advantage of the cases where employees are experiencing symptoms like discomfort and fatigue early on, when quick, inexpensive interventions can usually solve the problem,” Turina said. “Ignoring these early warning signs can lead to employee suffering and astronomical cost in some cases.”

14- Establish employee reporting systems
Establishing an employee reporting system can be the best way for organizations to get a handle on potential hazards before they cause injury. Consider creating an anonymous reporting process that encourages workers to come forward with their concerns. “Research shows that early intervention yields the most cost-efficient results in all areas,” Paquette said.

 

15- Correct mouse placement
Paquette often sees workstations where the computer keyboard is on a tray, but the mouse remains on the desk. “That spells disaster for the neck and shoulder on the side of that mouse,” she said. She recommends that the mouse always be placed beside the keyboard.