Spring has sprung, bringing bright new blooms and a refreshing change to our surroundings. While you’re brushing away the cobwebs of winter and shaking out your summer clothes, spring cleaning is the perfect time to throw out old safety hazards, too. Review these key measures below to make sure your teams are ready for a fresh new season.
Check your outdoor environment
As the weather warms, businesses may shift their operations outside. This can increase the risk of workplace injuries. There are several safety risks that come with working outdoors: slips and falls on wet surfaces, sun exposure and insect bites. Protect your employees by:
- Inspecting work areas. Check for uneven terrain, unstable structures and hidden obstacles.
- Provide the right equipment. Equip employees with personal protective equipment, such as gloves, high-visibility clothing and safety glasses.
- Maintain tools. Regularly inspect tools and equipment to make sure they are in working condition.
Clean your equipment carefully
Tools and machines stored away for winter are pulled out for cleaning in the spring. Wear proper protection when using cleaning chemicals or solutions. Check electrical cords and outlets, and replace any damaged items, before plugging tools and equipment in. Overloading circuits can lead to fires and electrical risks, so avoid overloading them.
Prepare slippery surfaces
Spring showers can create slick surfaces. This increases the risk of slipping and falling. Place non-slip mats or rugs in high-traffic areas. Set a regular cleaning schedule to rid floors of dirt and moisture. Employees should wear appropriate footwear for the workplace; make shoes with slip-resistant soles a workplace standard.
Plan for stormy weather
Spring may bring quick showers, but it can also bring more severe weather, like thunderstorms and tornados. Develop an emergency response plan for your workplace, including evacuation procedures. Create designated safe areas and stock them with emergency supplies. For example, add flashlights, first aid kits and emergency contact information. Employees should practice these procedures often. Conduct regular drills to make sure they know what to do.
Refresh employee training
For many companies, such as construction and landscaping, spring brings new business. Many workers may be new to the job and unfamiliar with specific industry hazards. As a result, there’s an increased risk of workplace injuries and illness. Ensure their safety by:
- Training in industry-specific procedures and protocol.
- Assigning experienced workers to new employees as mentors or supervisors. They can help guide and monitor performance.
- Encouraging open communication and reporting safety concerns or incidents promptly, especially to seasonal workers.
- Conducting regular safety meetings to reinforce safe practices and address emerging issues.
Sunshine and warmer temperatures lift our spirits and improve our mental health. Embrace spring – and safety and well-being in the workplace – by taking a proactive approach.