Employers have an obligation to their employees to maintain a safe workplace that helps prevent injuries and improves productivity as well as morale. This includes keeping floors and surfaces clean, removing dust, and organizing clutter, among other housekeeping details. Such maintenance is not only good for the employee, but beneficial to the employer, as it allows first-time visitors to develop a good impression of a business and how it is run. It can also help an employer avoid fines for non-compliance.
Here are some helpful tips for employers to maintain an effective and safe work environment:
- Prevent slip and falls accidents: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2013, slip and fall injuries were the second leading cause of nonfatal work injuries that required time off from work. Employers are required to keep the workplace environment safe and in a sanitary condition, and choose suitable flooring that will hold up to the conditions it will be exposed to. Other safety recommendations include:
- Keeping all aisles and exits clear of clutter or other obstacles
- Ensuring all spills and leaks are reported and cleaned
- Installing mirrors and warning signs to help make blind spots less dangerous
- Replacing worn-out, ripped, or damaged flooring
- Installing anti-slip flooring in areas that cannot always be cleaned
- Eliminate fire hazards: According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), employees are responsible for not allowing combustible materials to accumulate in the work area. Additionally, combustible waste must be stored in covered metal receptacles and disposed of daily. Other precautionary measures include:
- Store all quick-burning, flammable materials in designated locations and far from ignition sources
- Do not contaminate clothing with flammable liquids and change clothes if such contamination occurs
- Ensure that all passageways and fire doors are not obstructed by any items or clutter
- When working with combustible materials, do not keep more than what is needed and, when finished, move them to an assigned storage area
- If any electrical hazards are present, they should always be reported and fixed
- Control dust: Dust is not merely unsightly, it poses a real risk to the safety of employees and is a significant explosion hazard. When dust accumulation is greater than 1/32 of an inch and covers at least 5% of a room’s surface, this presents a danger in the workplace, according to the National Fire Protection Association. To control and eliminate dust, vacuuming is recommended as a preferred method, though sweeping and water wash-downs are also acceptable options. For inaccessible or unsafe surfaces, the blow-down method can be used.
- Prevent falling objects: To prevent injuries caused by falling objects, it is recommended that materials and boxes are stacked straight up and down to keep them from falling. Always place heavier objects on lower shelves, and keep equipment away from the edges of desks and tables.
- Clear Clutter: Cluttered workplaces are a cornucopia of hazards, often leading to ergonomic issues and injuries, given the minimal space employees have to move. Cluttered areas also make it more likely for workers to sustain cuts and laceration. To maintain a safe and clutter-free environment, workers should return their tools and other materials to storage after use, or dispose of materials they no longer need.
Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Erie
If you sustained an injury while on the job, or suffered a medical condition due to work-related duties, you have a right to pursue financial compensation through a workers’ compensation claim. At McNair Law Offices, PLLC, we are devoted to representing workers throughout the Erie community and ensuring their rights are protected.
All cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, which means you will not owe us a single cent unless we are able to recover compensation on your behalf.
Contact our office today at (814) 389-1771 for a free consultation.