Maintaining an organized workspace is crucial for ensuring safety in any job. When clutter and disorganization reign, accidents and injuries are much more likely to occur. This can lead to lost productivity, downtime, and even legal trouble. By prioritizing organization and cleanliness in the workplace, employees and employers alike can create a safer and more efficient work environment for everyone involved.
In this blog post, we’ll explore more of the ways that an organized jobsite is a safe jobsite.
Why is “housekeeping” or keeping an organized workspace important?
- Poorly organized spaces can conceal potential safety hazards, like fire or chemical spill risks
- Clutter may cover protective equipment like fire extinguishers or eye wash equipment
- Disorganized equipment, tools and materials could pose a risk of trip and fall hazards
- Cluttered or disorganized areas limit a person’s productive workspace.
- Disorganization can exacerbate the consequences of an accident, should one occur
- Uneven or wet walking surfaces can cause trips and falls.
- Slips and falls on wet or uneven walking/
FAQ- What are the most reported workplace injuries?
One of the most common workplace injuries is employees straining their back or neck. Strains typically occur when employees try to lift supplies or a delivery without the proper technique or equipment.
How to avoid a back / neck injury:
-Make sure items are stored correctly, safely and in their proper location
-Lift properly: feet shoulder width apart lift with your legs, not your back
-Ask for assistance on heavy items
-If necessary, use a lifting device, hoist, hand truck, or lift table
FAQ- Why do we need to keep fire exits clear of materials / debris?
A clear, unobstructed exit path can guarantee that people get to safety fast. That’s because there are no large or potentially heavy objects to slow down the evacuation process. The time to clear the exit way is before the hazard occurs, not during an accident!
Scenario: A worker falls off an excavator
A mechanic was working on an excavator approximately 6’ off the ground, instead of using a ladder he was inching his way along the back of the machine, when he lost his footing and fell to the ground. Fortunately, the worker only sustained minor bruises and a few scrapes, along with being sore and limping around for a few days.
This scenario could have been avoided if the worker got a ladder or manlift to work on the machine. Know where the proper tools are to get a job done, and avoid cutting corners, as it could have consequences.
Space heaters in the workplace:
Can I have a space heater in my office?
When used correctly, space heaters are a completely safe tool to have at work. There are no federal workplace regulations prohibiting them, and per OSHA, so long as they are used correctly and properly labeled, they are safe to use.
Hazards of space heaters
A heater that is left on for an extended time can overheat combustible materials that might also be stored under the desk or table. Also be sure not to overload your circuit when using a space heater!
That concludes this month’s Safety Corner. If you have questions about keeping your workspace safe and organized, you should discuss them with your team. Check out our full Safety Corner blog section for more information on workplace safety.