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Avoiding Workplace Injuries - 18 Preventative Measures Everyone Should Read


Workplace injuries are a problem, not only for employees, but also for employers trying to maintain safe, productive and profitable operations. Injury prevention is of primary importance to any ongoing business. We want to join you in your safety efforts and help you maintain a safe and productive operation.

Successful worker injury and illness prevention begins with your leadership’s commitment. To the greatest degree possible, your management should provide all mechanical and physical protection required for personal safety and health. Safety is no accident; think “safety” and the job will be safer. 

While a safety-conscious management team fosters a safe workplace, employees still bear primary responsibility for their working safely. Safety is a cooperative undertaking, requiring constant safety awareness on the part of every employee. Quite simply, injury/illness prevention requires cooperation in all safety and health matters, both between the employer and employee and also among all co-workers. 

A little common sense and caution can prevent most accidents from occurring. Everything possible should be done to protect employees so that accidents, injuries, and/or occupational disease do not occur on the job. No one likes to see a fellow employee injured in an accident. Therefore, all operations must be planned to prevent possible accidents. But if an employee is injured, positive action must be taken promptly to see that the employee receives adequate treatment.

Rules, such as the following, should be established to assist in this cooperative effort:


  1. All employees shall follow safe practices in conducting their job. All employees shall report all unsafe conditions or practices.

  2. Supervisors are responsible for implementing policies by insisting employees observe and obey all rules and regulations necessary to maintain a safe work place and safe work habits and practices.

  3. Good housekeeping must be practiced at all times in the work area. Clean up all waste and eliminate any dangers in the work area. Spills must be cleaned up immediately.

  4. All aisles and passageways must be kept clear. Changes in elevations must be clearly marked, as must passageways near dangerous operations like welding, machinery operation or painting. If there is a low ceiling, a warning sign must be posted. If a walkway or stairway is more than thirty inches above the floor or ground, it must have a guardrail.

  5. Suitable clothing, footwear and personal protection equipment (hardhats, respirators, and eye protection) must be worn at all times.

  6. Fire extinguishers must remain accessible at all times. Means of egress should be kept unblocked, well lighted and unlocked during work hours.

  7. Drive safely. If vehicles are used during the workday, safety belts and should harnesses are to be worn at all times. Vehicles must be locked when unattended to avoid criminal misconduct. Do no exceed the speed limit. Defensive driving must be practiced by all employees. Vehicles must be parked in legal spaces and must not obstruct traffic. Employees should park their vehicles in well-lighted areas at, or near, entrances to avoid exposure to criminal misconduct.

  8. Anyone under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs, including prescription drugs, which may impair motor skills and judgment, will not be allowed on the job.

  9. Horseplay, scuffing, or other acts which tend to have an adverse influence on the safety or well-being of other employees, are prohibited.

  10. Work which entails the handling of heavy material or the use of equipment must be well planned and supervised to avoid injuries.

  11. No employee will be permitted to work while his/her ability or alertness is so impaired by fatigue, illness, or other causes that it might expose the employee or others to injury.

  12. Employees must not work with any equipment, machinery, or conduct any processes or procedures that are outside the scope of their duties, unless they have received specific training and instructions.

  13. All injuries must be reported to a supervisor so that arrangements can be made for medical or first aid treatment.

  14. When lifting heavy objects, use the large muscles of the leg instead of the smaller muscles of the back.

  15. Dispose of all waste properly and carefully.

  16. Do not wear shoes with thin or torn soles.

  17. First-aid kits and required contents should be maintained in a serviceable condition. A poster should be fastened and maintained, either on or in the cover of each first-aid kit and at or near all phones, plainly stating the phone numbers of available doctors, hospitals, and ambulance services within the district of the work site.

  18. Where the eyes or skin of any person may be exposed to injuries chemical and/or material, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and skin should be provided, within the work area, for immediate emergency use


Employee safety training is another requirement of an effective injury and illness prevention program. While skills training is important, safety training must also be emphasized. Employers should communicate to employees their commitment to safety and make sure that employees are familiar with the elements of the safety program.

Communication with employees can take several forms. It can be done orally, in the form of directions and statements from a supervisor; or it can be written, in the form of directives. Safety training also requires leadership by example: if an employee sees a supervisor or manager do something unsafe, he/she should tell that person. We sometimes forget that actions speak louder than words.

Safety inspections should occur periodically throughout the year, when conditions change or when a new process or procedure is implemented. During these inspections, the injury and illness prevention policy and safe work practices should be reviewed. In addition, all employees are expected to promptly report any unsafe conditions so that appropriate corrections may be made.

Our hope is that some of the ideas presented here will assist you in your in safety management. If you would like more information on your specific operation, or even on just a few phases of your operation, please contact your agent. We will work with him or her to provide any safety and accident prevention information you may need.


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