Whether you work in a construction site or in a high-rise office, it is mandatory that your employer provides you with a safe and secure space to work.
WHS best practices should be implemented and observed at all times. Without these measures, you and other employees are at risk.
Accidents are prone to happen and the health of each employee will be compromised – something everyone in the workspace wants to steer clear of.
To avoid this, everyone in the company should have at least basic knowledge on how to spot unsafe work practices existing in their workplace and how to deal with them.
But not everyone is trained to do so. However, that doesn’t mean everyone else in the company is exempted from the responsibility of maintaining a healthy and safe place to work on.
Read on to know more about the signs of unsafe work practices and learn how to spot them to avoid any type of accidents and injuries.
1. Exposed Electricals and Wiring
Electrical and wiring issues that are left unchecked, unattended, and exposed are one of the most common unsafe work practices in office spaces.
It’s important to keep exposed wires in check, handled, and stored somewhere safe as leaving them exposed may cause technical problems and hardware malfunctions, as they can be very prone to damage. Not to mention the possibility of employees tripping over them.
Proper cable/wiring management must be observed to avoid issues such as these.
Office managers or anyone who’s in charge must ensure that each station or workspace that has any form of electricals are properly managed, to avoid exposure and the possibility of an accident.
2. Missing Personal Protective Equipment
This might seem unnecessary for a business setting, but this is something that every kind of work environment should have – even just for emergency purposes.
For workspaces such as construction sites, hard hats, gloves, goggles, and steel-toed boots are some of the personal protective equipment necessary.
As for office settings, these types of equipment should be ready just in case an emergency happens. (helmets/hard hats readily available in case an evacuation happens due to fire/earthquake).
Not having the necessary equipment when it matters most is an unsafe work practice you may want to get rid of ASAP — as an emergency situation can happen unexpectedly.
3. Broken Equipment
If your workplace has broken equipment that is still in use by employees, the chance of an accident happening is extremely high.
Malfunctioning/broken equipment should be reported right away to minimise the risk of employees sustaining injuries.
For example, a broken chair (faulty backrest, armrest, etc.) that’s still in use by an employee is risky, as the chances of an accident happening are highly likely.
If you’re making use of workplace equipment that’s not in optimal condition, be keen to have it replaced right away – most especially if the equipment is used on a daily basis.
4. Large Obstacles in the Path of Workers or Blocking Exits
It is unsafe for workplaces to have large objects blocking a worker’s walkway, as it may be the cause of heaps of accidents.
This type of problem is usually present in construction sites, as the work environment tends to be messy in nature, and tools and equipment are often placed all over the workplace.
To avoid accidents, any equipment that may block any worker’s way should be placed aside, especially if it’s not in use.
This same work health and safety measure can also be applied in office workplaces. Tables, chairs, and other office objects shouldn’t be in the way of workers.
Offices must follow a proper floor plan, so they can properly organise office equipment to where it should be.
Office spaces should also be keen not to have exits blocked. During an emergency, having easy access to the office’s exit points is crucial for every employee’s safety.
5. Workplace Congestion
As the company’s workforce grows, the workspace needs to grow with it.
Businesses with large numbers of employees should be able to secure a place that can cater to the company’s size in manpower.
If not addressed, workplace congestion can bring heaps of problems, including added levels of stress.
Since most, if not all workers prefer to have a quiet environment for them to work at an efficient rate. This is something that a big workplace can solve with enough rooms to sort each department/team and minimise work noise that can cause distraction (chatter, calls, meetings, etc.).
Being cramped up in a workplace can also contribute to other unsafe workplace scenarios as mentioned earlier such as equipment being broken, having too much space occupied in the walkway, exits are potentially obstructed, and tripping on unattended/exposed wiring.
Being aware of unsafe work practices can prepare you and your business for implementing proper work health and safety best practices and avoid these types of unsafe practices.
Having a healthy and safe work environment can do wonders for the company – just as long as work health and safety measures are properly implemented and maintained.
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