Safety Tips for Common Problems Although workplaces differ from industry to industry, when it comes to typical safety issues, there are some commonalities. Here’s a quick look at two common safety issues and tips to solve them that you can share with your employees. Slips, trips, and falls: Falls are the leading cause of injury in the workplace. A major cause is the use of improper lifting techniques. You may work at a factory where you’re lifting boxes on a continual basis or with customers or patients who need help getting around. No matter who or what you may be lifting, here are some tips to consider. Proper Lifting Tips: Assess the situation and plan the lift. Make sure you have nonskid shoes and firm footing. Bend your knees, tighten your stomach, and keep your back straight. Make sure you have a good grip on the item or person you’re lifting Lift smoothly. A smooth lift means that you avoid twisting your body. Point your feet in the direction you want to go and push, if possible, rather than pull. Fire safety: The best advice is to stay calm. You can’t help yourself or a co-worker if you lose control during an emergency. That’s why it’s important to have timely drills. At least once a year your entire workplace should have a fire safety drill, but every three months is the ideal. Being prepared helps you stay calm. A good workplace fire drill covers the following: How to get everyone safely out of a burning and smoky building. Where to meet when everyone is out of the building. How to properly use a fire extinguisher. A trained safety expert should run the fire extinguisher portion of the drill. Everyone should have a turn using a real fire extinguisher to put out a real fire. Trained safety experts will know how to run a drill like this and will be able to teach you about other important issues such as fire safety monitoring. If you don’t have a trained professional, you can still explain how to use a fire extinguisher, but never include a fire without a professional present. Planning for a Safe Workplace Every workplace should have a safety committee and safety plan in place. If you don’t have safety committees at your workplace, propose one. If you work at home, you are the safety committee. Working at home or for a very small business isn’t a reason for failing to plan. If you don’t have a safety plan in place yet, follow these steps when you recognize a workplace safety issue. When a potential hazard is discovered… 1. Make sure that everyone else in your workplace is aware of the problem. 2. Notify the appropriate managers. 3. File any reports or documents about the problem. 4. Follow up. Telling someone there’s a problem is not a guarantee that it will be resolved satisfactorily. After reporting the problem, follow up to make sure the problem was addressed.