Safety and emergency response training can make the difference between life and death when on-the-job accidents and injuries occur.
Staying Safe at Work
Workplace safety begins with a workforce that’s properly trained in safety culture and emergency response procedures. The National Safety Council urges employers to stay compliant with OSHA safety regulations and offers a variety of safety training courses to achieve a safer workplace.
Workers involved in high-risk occupations are especially at risk for life-threatening accidents and injuries in the workplace. Construction workers, heavy equipment operators, industrial warehouse workers, medical workers, emergency responders, and agricultural laborers face daily risks of on-the-job injuries. High-risk occupations expose workers to slip and fall accidents, falling objects, limb amputations, chemical burns, toxic fumes, fires, and explosions. Medical workers and emergency responders are exposed to contagious illnesses, diseases, and harmful bacteria and viruses.
Planning for safety in the workplace is essential to protect workers. OSHA provides and enforces numerous workplace safety rules and regulations for all types of occupations. These include a range of requirements including electrical standards, ventilation, noise levels, materials handling and storage, equipment and machinery safeguards, and protective gear. Workplace safety depends on employers and workers following the rules. When safety violations occur, workers are put at a greater risk for serious accidents and injuries. In 2016, there were 5,190 reported workplace fatalities, and construction workers made up 25 percent of those victims.
It’s essential that employers implement workplace safety training programs and that workers know what to do to perform their jobs safely. Employers must provide workers with proper job descriptions and note special hazards that may be involved. High-risk workers must be properly trained in handling safety equipment such as protective gear, safety harnesses, high-rise ladders, hearing protection devices, respirators, and fire extinguishers. Workplace safety training can be implemented through classroom sessions, safety manuals, and individual instructions.
Emergency Response Training
A workplace emergency can arise on any job, but unpredictable situations and certain emergencies can threaten the lives of workers, as well as the nearby public. Employees should be given emergency response training and a written emergency plan that outlines proper procedures such as calling for help, rendering first aid, and workplace evacuations. Generally, one person trained in emergency response procedures should be present for every 20 workers. Workers designated to assist in emergency evacuation procedures should be trained in acceptable escape routes and workplace layout.