Hard work, heavy machinery, and distractions just don’t mix. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), approximately 3 million workers are injured on the job each year. By employing vigilance and renewing efforts in aiding employee focus, industrial organizations can prevent potentially serious or fatal accidents. Take the first steps in protecting investments and personnel. Consider how to cut out the following six distractions and give everyone the safe environment they deserve.
- Cell Phones and Personal Devices
Limiting the usage of cell phones and related devices is critical to maintaining safe working environments. Talking, texting, and browsing the internet or social media can be a huge distraction that can put workers, their co-workers, equipment, merchandise, and property at risk. Even keeping a device on one’s person while completing complex or difficult tasks can lead to danger. Cell Phone vibrations or rings could break concentration at crucial moments. Proactive cell phone and device usage policies can prevent injuries and save lives.
- Loud Music
Employees need to be alert and attuned to the work site to avoid dangerous situations. The proper hearing is vital to hearing warning sounds or shouts before it’s too late. Loud music played over radio systems can distract workers and drown out warnings. Headphones or earbuds can be worse, as individual workers may not be able to hear instructions or changes in the environment. Loose headphone or earbud wires can even catch in moving machinery, possibly exposing the worker to severe injury. Before allowing music in the workplace, either public or private, consider the areas where it may be permissible, and the areas distraction could do serious harm.
- Unkept Workstations and Work Areas
Cluttered workstations and work areas expose warehouse personnel to distraction and danger. Unsorted tools, junk, paperwork, and garbage are not only a frustration but can also be harmful. Blades or hazardous waste could be mixed in with clutter. Dust or fine metal shavings can cause respiratory complications. Loose wires or spills can cause falls. Visual clutter can also translate to mental clutter. Personnel may lose focus on challenging tasks when clutter compromises work areas.
- Food and Beverages
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) research reports that drivers are 80% more likely to get into an accident when eating on the road. This dangerous distraction can translate to warehouse operations. A gulp of soda or a bite of a burger could compel a forklift operator to lose focus, possibly endangering themselves and others. Spilling hot liquid could also harm a worker and damage equipment.
Gears, cogs, and moving belts can suck in even small strands of loose hair. Unfortunately, this can lead to more than an embarrassment. There have been many painful, life-altering, and even deadly injuries due to long hair becoming stuck in running machinery. Long hair can also get in a worker’s face and eyes as they groom. Loose hair should be tied back or placed under a hairnet or cap. In general, grooming should be saved for the restroom or designated common spaces.
Fatigue from harsh environments, long hours, and stress can slow reaction time, decrease cognitive ability, and lead to costly accidents. If a worker is not getting enough rest or break time, this could set dire consequences into motion. Allowing workers longer periods of time to recover and showing concern for their general wellness can increase productivity and morale.
No industrial workplace can eliminate distractions but being proactive in creating policies to manage distractions can protect your investments—and most importantly—personnel. If you need to hire a construction company with high industry standards and experience, then look no further than Brennan.