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The Secretary of State reported that 5,071 workers died on the job in 2008. Many of these accidents could have been prevented by following industrial safety procedures. Each year there are countless numbers of workplace accidents that injure workers. These accidents are costly to individuals who have to deal with the after effects of a serious injury, as well as businesses that have to cover the cost of medical treatment for the injury sustained in the accident. Many organizations now try to prevent avoidable accidents by training employees in industrial safety.
Review proper lifting and ladder procedures. Many workplace accidents are the result of employees failing to follow proper lifting and ladder procedures. Remind employees that they need to lift with their legs, not their back, as lifting with the back greatly increases the risk of spine damage. Have employees practice lifting properly to ensure that they understand the technique. Also, discuss how to properly use a ladder. Falls from ladders can be deadly, so following proper safety guidelines is a must. Employees should place ladders on level ground and use brakes when available. Also, they should make sure to keep at least one hand on the ladder at all times to prevent accidental falls.
Go over hazardous materials emergency preparedness plans. The U.S. Fire Administration has rigorous guidelines established to reduce the risk of employee injury by hazardous material contact. Discuss all materials present in your work place. Instruct employees on proper labeling procedures to ensure that all chemicals are labeled in accordance with workplace codes. Also, advise employees of any chemicals that are highly sensitive to temperature or present serious risks of combustion so that they can exercise extreme caution around those chemicals.
Teach employees to recognize hazards. There are certain hazards that are business specific. Educate your employees on the hazards that are specific to your business, including industrial equipment and caustic chemicals. Make sure that employees recognize the danger of carelessness or misuse of hazardous equipment or chemicals.
Discuss accident response plans. While the ultimate goal is to prevent accidents, there are unpreventable accidents that can occur. Review accident response plans with your employees including fire evacuation routes and how to dial 911 from an office line. Make sure that your employees know where the emergency shower, eye wash station and first aid kit are located. In an accident, immediate response to injury can greatly reduce the damage done. Discuss universal precautions or the system of measures that should be taken when dealing with bodily fluids.
Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, Trails.com and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.