Not following standard operating procedure can be fatal. A hydrogen peroxide explosion at surfactant manufacturing plant and the University of Bristol are two obvious proofs.
Following standard operating procedure is one of 30 daily workplace safety tips that you can find in this article.
These safety tips are good safety lessons that you should apply right now to keep your workplace safe.
Some people may get safety lessons after suffering a severe accident like above. Really, it is the worst way to follow.
You don’t want to follow that way, right?
So, always follow workplace safety tips below to ensure your safety.
30 Practical Daily Workplace Safety Tips
1. Know Your Workplace Well
You have to know well about your workplace. Look around. Know every side and corner of it.
Know where portable fire extinguishers are located. Make sure you know emergency exit and everything inside.
If you know well about your workplace, you will be able to recognize where potential hazards exist.
To make you familiar with your workplace, you must do daily safety patrol.
Yes, I have said, do it every day. More frequent is better.
Safety patrol will also help to find unsafe conditions that may appear in your workplace.
2. Master and Follow Safe Work Procedures
Safe work procedures are your guidelines. Make sure you have understood all of them. This will ensure your safety while working.
If you have difficulties, get the answers immediately. Develop your skills by practicing.
If you feel the work procedures are hard to understand ask your employer to improve them.
Ensure the work procedures are reviewed in a regular schedule to keep them update.
You can read how to create safe procedure correctly from Safety.net.
3. Always Keep Good Health
Never force yourself to work while you feel unhealthy. This will likely cause an accident happens on you.
Report to your supervisor if you feel something wrong with your health.
You will also endanger your partners if you force to work.
Take a rest.
4. Keep Work Area Clean
A messy and dirty work area hold potential hazards more that clean one.
So, keep your work area clean.
It also keeps your productivity, eliminates potential hazards, keeps workers healthy and avoids cross contamination among work areas.
Regular clean up prevents slips and trips.
5. Use Machines and Work Tools Correctly
Make sure you have read the manual of machines and tools before using. Master the manual so you can use it correctly.
Take note every safety precaution in order to be safe while using the machines and tools.
Do not use machines and tools beyond their allowable working load.
Prevent overload since it will result in injury or death.
6. Wear Proper Personal Protective Equipment
Personal protective equipment is the last hazard control. So, do not ignore its importance.
You have to wear proper personal protective equipment for every specific job. Not all jobs require the same requirement.
The key is to understand the procedure to know what kind of personal protective equipment needs to be used.
Lastly, read material safety data sheet to know the right personal protective equipment for handling hazardous substances.
7. Protect Your Back by Maintaining Correct Posture
Protect you back while lifting up a load. Otherwise, you will hurt your back.
If you work in the office, keep your back in correct posture while working on the desk.
It is very important to protect your back while doing a job. Always consider the ergonomic position.
8. Report Immediately Any Unsafe Conditions
Never hold unsafe condition information in your brain. Report it immediately when you find it.
Report to the right person, at least to your supervisor.
If you fail to report to the right person, it may end up without countermeasures.
That has to be avoided. You or your partner may get injured!
Create a simple reporting system for the worker to report any unsafe condition, if there is no system in your workplace.
9. Take Breaks to Keep Your Conditions
Continuous working makes your stamina goes weak. You will also lose your focus.
That’s a serious problem. So, take breaks regularly to recover your condition.
Taking a break is not a wasting time. It is to save you from an unexpected accident.
10. Know Exactly the Emergency Stop Button
In an emergency situation, a second can save your life. So, prepare yourself to face such situation.
Know exactly where the emergency stop button is located. Know how many seconds you can reach it.
Make yourself familiar with the route and how to quickly operate it.
But, do not stop there. Ask your partner to do the same.
11. Know Where to Get Immediate Help
Making an emergency phone call is just a way to get immediate help. Know everything about getting immediate help at the workplace when you need it.
It is best to have someone watch you while you are working, suppose while operating a machine.
Or let other see you through a CCTV. When something wrong happens you could get immediate help from them.
12. Know the Safety Equipment Location
Portable fire extinguisher, fire hydrant, and emergency step ladder are several examples of safety equipment that you need to know exactly where they are located.
Make sure you know how to reach them through the shortest way.
13. Keep Calm
Work in a hurry is a sure way to injure. Always keep calm while you are working.
Even in an emergency condition, keep calm. So, you can think clearly about what you have to do.
14. Ensure the Emergency Exits Clear and Easily Accessible
Ensure that you know all emergency exits that are available in your workplace. Make your partners know about them too.
Make them easily seen with clear direction. And keep the access way free from any obstacle.
You are not allowed to place something that covers the emergency exit even it is only for temporary.
15. Never Work Alone at Manufacturing Area
Working at manufacturing area needs extra caution since various kinds of hazards exist.
That’s why never work alone at there. At least tell your partner or supervisor that you are working at there.
If something wrong happens, you can get immediate help from him.
16. Reduce Fire Hazards
Fire hazard is the most common hazard in the workplace. Unfortunately, in manufacturing plant, it is impossible to eliminate this hazard to zero.
What you can do is to reduce it to controllable hazards and prevent it from happening.
You can read these 12 actionable tips on how to prevent fire hazard in the workplace from Bullex.
17. Prevent Cross Contamination among Hazardous Materials
Use one special tool like jug, hose or funnel for each chemical. Never use those tools together for all chemicals.
This is to avoid cross contamination.
Cross contamination will:
- Cause uncontrolled reaction
- Release toxic chemicals or gases
- Cause fire or explosion
If special usage is impossible, ensure you wash the tool with enough water every time you use it for another hazardous chemical.
18. Use the Only Chemical with Clear Identity
You should never use chemical with unclear identity;
Never compromise with this. Don’t try to guess the content!
19. Have a Good Combustible Dust Control
Did you know that combustible dust could cause an explosion? If you never heard about this, read this story.
Combustible dust can be dust from most organic materials (like sugar, flour, wood, etc), metal and some nonmetallic materials.
Use the only vacuum to clean up such kind of dust. Avoid dust accumulation since it is ready to catch fire.
Install dust collection system or dust extraction system to avoid dust exposure. Get the complete guide on combustible dust from Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety.
20. Follow up Near Miss Seriously
A near miss is a warning. Follow up near miss seriously before it turns into an accident.
Have a good near miss reporting system that is easy to follow. The system should be able to encourage workers to report any near miss they find.
If you have a problem with this, try to find the reasons.
Philip La Duke, the principle of Rockford Greene International, wrote top 9 reasons why workers hold near miss and do not report it.
21. Investigate Accident Until You Get the Root Cause
Your accident report must be designed to uncover an accident.
If it fails to do this, then the accident will happen again in the future.
So, now check your accident report. Could it find the root cause of the accident?
If not, improve your accident reporting system.
22. Avoid Falling Objects
You have to identify goods, tools or materials that potentially will fall and cause injury.
Apply good storage system not only in the warehouse but in the whole workplace. Limit height of storing cabinet to reduce falling object impact.
Use protective equipment such as a net to keep an object from falling. Separating storage area from working area is a good idea.
23. Keep Good Teamwork
Good safety culture cannot be attained without good teamwork. Safety works in a team.
Avoid conflict between you and other team members. You must solve a problem that may appear in your teamwork.
The safe workplace can be created within a good teamwork.
24. Keep the Workplace Comfortable for Everyone
A stress-free workplace enables you to work in comfort. Review your target and deadline.
Working under tight schedule and pressure will make you lose your focus and lessen your awareness.
Never bully your partner. And do not make him fear.
In contrary, make your workplace comfortable for everyone.
25. Do Safety Talk Everyday
Talk about safety every day. The more you talk about safety, the better it is.
This is the simplest way to improve your safety awareness:
Anyone can do it.
It is very flexible.
You can choose any topic your wish.
Some of you may know safety talk as the safety message. But, essentially they are same.
26. Get Free Safety Recommendation from the Experts
Getting workplace safety tips from the experts is very valuable. But, the cost will be high.
But, you can get an expert recommendation for free.
Yes, for free.
How to get it?
Check the OHSAS 18001 audit results, loss control report and customer safety audit results.
All those reports are made by safety experts. So, say thanks to them. They do it for your benefit.
They are trying to find out deficiencies from safety standards, best safety practices, and government regulations.
You don’t have to work to find such findings by yourself. May be you will not be able to find them at all.
Implement all those findings in order to improve your workplace safety.
27. Get Suggestions from Safety Consultant
Sometimes, you will need expert help to improve your workplace safety or after an accident.
It is okay as long as you can provide enough money for it.
But, keeping zero accident record or stopping accident re-occurrence in your workplace is everything compared with your money.
28. Refresh Training Regularly
Regular training is beneficial in maintaining your skill and awareness. Have a regular schedule for refreshing.
You should set up re-training program in your SOP in order not forget.
Refreshing training becomes a must if there is a change in machine, pipeline and or manufacturing facility in your workplace.
29. Review SOP Regularly
SOP has to be reviewed due to the following reasons:
- After an accident
- After a change applied in manufacturing facility
- When new material is applied
- When a change applied in operating condition
If you do not find any above reason, regular review is still necessary. It is to ensure that the SOP is still applicable and to check hidden safety risks.
30. Use Safety Checklist
Did you know the importance of a checklist? Do you usually use safety checklist?
Atul Gawande, the writer of The Checklist Manifesto, has shown how a checklist could reduce death numbers by around 30% in eight hospitals.
A checklist can help you not to forget about things to do. By using checklist you will have a clear guide that is easy to follow.
Suppose you have a plan to inspect safety helmet. You will need safety helmet inspection checklist to do it.
All the above workplace safety tips will be worthless if you do not apply them. To get started, take one tip