Despite the tightest controls and best preparation, the manufacturing workplace can still be rife with unexpected events and unpleasant surprises. Not every load shifts the way it should, not every traffic control system works perfectly, and sometimes even a perfectly trained employee can have a bad day.

These unexpected events can lead to serious workplace injuries that can hurt your workers and their families, and come with huge expenses for your company. And some of the most common injuries and incidents come from trips and slips. Floors, stairways, ledges without safety rails, and parking lots can represent serous hazards, but a few simple moves can limit the danger. Keep these considerations in mind.

Perform audits.

Even if your employee is unhurt during a fall, document the incident. Keep accurate records of every fall and stumble, and you’ll gather more data that can help you identify and control trouble areas. Tally the number of falls each year (or month) and make a note of the circumstances. Do these falls involve the integrity of the floor surface? Do they involve an employee practice, such as carrying a heavy load or moving too quickly? Find similarities between each fall so you can take preventative action.

Watch out for thresholds.

If your manufacturing workplace includes frequent travel from indoor to outdoor environments, pay close attention to the integrity of the threshold area. Wet floors, icy floors, or sudden changes in lighting or elevation (even small ones) can create serious hazards. Counteract these threats by making the necessary adjustments.

Solicit complaints and recommendations.

As always, you can vastly improve your workplace by listening closely to your employees. Distribute regular surveys and maintain an open-door policy regarding concerns and complaints. Sometimes management doesn’t recognize a problem or hazard until it’s too late. Cultivate a culture of safety and a team mentality, and reward employees who identify hazards and suggest changes.

Walk the walk

Make sure your managers are following all safety rules that apply to employees and staff. This may involve wearing hard hats in a hard hat zone, and it may also involve using railings, lighting, traffic signaling, and other precautions properly.

Keep floors dry

Floor surfaces are always safer when they’re dry. This may involve directing fans or heat units toward wet thresholds, using mats, or installing surfaces that dry quickly, absorb water, or rechannel water flows. Water should drain, never pool, on floors where employees will be working.

If you’re dealing with water, ice, snow, thresholds, insufficient safety railings, or unsound stairways, do what you can to solve the problem at the source. Cover the rest of the distance with warnings, employee training, and strong management practices. For more on how to maintain a safe workplace, reach out to the experts at Liftow.