10 Oct 2018
The theme of this year’s National Safe Work Month is “A Moment is all it Takes.” This is highly appropriate in a couple of ways; firstly, a moment of carelessness or inattention may be all it takes for a serious workplace injury to occur. On the other hand, it only takes a moment thinking about safety to prevent an accident from happening.
To illustrate that workplace safety is everybody’s responsibility, Safe Work Australia suggests taking a Safety Moment each day to think about what is required to make every workplace a safe place.
A good starting point is the following infographic on workplace fatalities and injuries in Australia. Given that 198 workers are killed in Australia each year, and that 34% of these involve a vehicle and 25% of all fatalities involve a truck, looking at how your organisation is managing workplace traffic might be a good safety moment.
For instance, look at the traffic flow in and out your warehouse, factory or storage facility — how well controlled is the vehicle movement? Are there clear zones for stopping and parking, and are all exits and entrances clearly marked?
Also, look around you at the separation of traffic, in particular forklift and foot traffic, and ask yourself whether there are sufficient safety barriers in place. Is there enough physical separation between people and vehicles, and do pedestrians have safe crossing areas?
It is easy when you look at workplace signage every day to take it for granted and not give it a second thought. However, consider making a review of your traffic safety signs the focus of a Safety Moment. Are your safety signs clear and easy to understand, including for workers whose first language isn’t English?
Pictured: Floor Graphic – Pedestrian Traffic Only
Given the statistics on the role that vehicles play in workplace fatalities, the above are simple yet highly effective solutions that can be implemented in order to reduce risk.
Another startling statistic from Safe Work Australia is that of the 111,200 serious worker’s compensation claims made in Australia each year, 16% of these are the result of muscular injuries suffered while lifting or carrying objects, and another 16% result from muscular stress while handling objects.
Therefore, another good topic for a safety moment may be your provision of materials handling equipment. Having the right equipment in place will not only reduce the risk of injury from lifting, carrying and handling objects, but will also have a positive impact on productivity as well.
For instance, bin tippers are a very useful piece of materials handling equipment that will reduce the risk of workplace injury, as lifting heavy bins makes staff susceptible to back injuries, while dropping a heavy bin can create other risks.
Pictured: Dumpmaster Bin Tipper
Likewise, pallet lifters are materials handling equipment that can reduce the number of workplace injuries, as workers aren’t required to reach, stretch and bend when loading or unloading a pallet. This means they are less at risk of the serious muscular injuries that this type of work can cause.
For one of your Safety Moments this month, look around you at the amount of manual handling that is taking place in your workplace, and ask yourself whether a more efficient use of materials handling equipment could reduce the risk of injury your workers face.
If you want some expert advice on how to improve the traffic flow in your workplace, or on materials handling equipment that will reduce the risk of serious muscular injury, call us on 1300 305 314 or send us an email at email@example.com to find out more from our team.
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