In the workplace, we are responsible for the well-being of each other and ourselves. Business owners should protect their team as much as possible; however, it is also down to individual employees to monitor and respect workplace safety protocols. Heavy machinery and equipment accidents tend to be especially severe, often resulting in serious injuries or death, but they are worryingly common.
A 2018 report found that, globally, accidents at work involving heavy equipment are more common than any other form of occupational accident. These often involve people becoming stuck in a moving part of the machine, receiving an electric shock or being knocked over by a vehicle.
Occupational safety hinges on how people behave and the daily decisions they make around your site. To maintain a good safety record and protect your company from loss of revenue, it’s important to remain vigilant and implement a robust set of safety protocols.
Train your team
Investment in training will always pay dividends. It’s one of the most effective ways of boosting safety in a working environment. People should be confident in using the equipment they are required to operate and be able to deal with any common quirks which could arise. Every item comes with a specific set of risks, but these are magnified if a person with no training takes the controls, or if the equipment is misused. Therefore, as soon as a new employee arrives, you should provide training in the machines they are assigned to use. Even experienced team members will need the odd refresher course, and everyone will have to take part in training sessions when new machines are installed.
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Insure your business
Companies using heavy machinery should always get an insurance policy designed with their industry in mind. Accidents happen to the most conscientious of people, equipment can break down and tools can go missing, none of which can be predicted. Any one of these issues can disrupt your workflow for days or weeks, leaving you with a loss of revenue and bills which still need paying. If your cover is up for renewal, or you need an entirely new policy, go for a provider with specialist packages. Landscaping business protection from Next Insurance provides cover at a level to suit your needs. They can provide you with a quote in minutes and if your business expands, it’s easy to manage your policy online.
Make regular inspections
One of the best ways to remain prepared at work is to establish a timetable for inspections and stick to it. On site, you can carry out checks to look for new hazards and to establish whether any areas need tighter controls. In terms of your machinery, proper inspections carried out by a technician or experienced operator are vital. Large machines have numerous parts, all of which must be kept in good condition to avoid accidents. Ensuring that replacements are made, and damage is repaired may create downtime, but these tasks cannot be avoided. Scheduling a few hours as required, to look over your working environment and inspect the machines being used, can prevent tragedies.
Be a good communicator
One of the best ways to lead a team effectively is to keep the lines of communication open and be ready to follow the rules yourself. In companies that use heavy machinery, it is crucial to teach staff about health and safety rules and get them on board with any changes to procedure. You should also stick to the guidelines yourself, making it clear that no one is exempt. When everyone is on the same page, mistakes are less likely to happen, and your deadlines can be met. Occasionally you may find an employee who is careless or does not follow the procedures. You can tackle the problem by reiterating the standards you all abide by and checking the employee understands.
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Rushing to ensure a project stays on track is not only stressful, but it can also encourage people to cut corners when it comes to safety. Make sure your team move slowly through the workplace and stay aware of the machinery they are using, even if a deadline is approaching. Trying to get tasks completed in a hurry can lead to lapses of attention, so reinforce the idea of people remaining focused on the job at hand to help prevent accidents and injuries.
Heavy machinery can make any workplace hazardous, but by lowering the risk of an accident occurring, you can enjoy a safer, more productive environment.