Improving safety in the workplace takes more than just telling people to wear personal protection equipment or finding ways to eliminate hazards. Your workplace safety strategy needs to look at every possible way to keep people and the facility safer and implement the most effective options. Safeguards are steps that can be taken to make something inherently safer. This can be done in many different ways depending on the situation.
A safeguard could be something as simple as installing a physical barrier to keep people away from a specific danger. For example, if a part of a machine tends to get very hot while in operation, it may be appropriate to add a cage around the hot areas so people can’t get to close and get burned. This will also ensure nobody puts flammable items in the area, not realizing that it will get hot once the machine is used.
Another example of this is by replacing potentially dangerous components of a process or product. If something is traditionally made with reactive materials, a good safeguard would be to replace at least a portion of these materials with something less reactive. This will reduce the risk of the item causing harm to those in the area.
Always Looking for Ways to Improve
Workplace safety is a never-ending project that should continuously improve over time. As you discover different opportunities for safeguards in the workplace, they should be implemented as soon as is reasonably possible. One great way to keep this process going is by analyzing every safety or incident report that is created and look for ways that safeguards can be put in place. Even small improvements can add up to significant benefits over time.
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