How Supervisors Should Be Demonstrating Safety

A safe workplace begins at the top with the supervisor. Without leadership from that crucial role, safety will never be a priority. Supervisors have responsibility for most of what happens daily in the workplace.

A safe workplace begins at the top with the supervisor. Without leadership from that crucial role, safety will never be a priority. Supervisors have responsibility for most of what happens daily in the workplace. However, it’s not just a position that’s charged with handing out work and making sure it’s done correctly.  Supervisors must also be accountable for the safety and health of their workers.

Along with a safe environment, employees must also feel secure reporting unsafe or unhealthful conditions or any hazards they observe to their boss without fear of reprisal.

Here is a list of the essential responsibilities concerning safety and health for all employees that safety-conscious supervisors should be assuming:

Conducting the orientation and training of new hires

Supervisors should be taking the lead in training new employees on how to perform their work safely. They should be familiar with and conduct training on how to use personal protective equipment (PPE) that is required for each task. Whenever there are mandated safety training courses, the supervisor ensures that every worker takes them and that they are documented accurately.

Enforcing safe work procedures

Supervisors demonstrate their commitment to safety by enforcing safe work practices. Without enforcement, safety takes a back seat to production, and it’s just a matter of time until there is an accident. Workers should also be encouraged to identify unsafe or unhealthful workplace conditions.

Correcting any safety hazards  

Whenever there are safety concerns, it’s up to the supervisor to take immediate steps to fix them. If it’s not within the supervisor’s ability to do that, then it’s critical to take temporary precautionary measures. The supervisor has to stay on top of any corrective actions until they are completed satisfactorily.

Training workers to spot and report unsafe conditions

Most near-miss incidents are the result of hazardous workplace conditions. One of the supervisor’s chief responsibilities is to educate and remind employees of what to be looking for and how to correct and report these unsafe conditions.

Investigating accidents in the workplace

Supervisors conduct accident investigations and make sure that all injured employees report to the Occupational Medical Service (OMS) right away. OMS works with Occupational Health and Safety to identify hazardous conditions that lead to injuries. They also document and treat any acute injuries. All facts and opinions about the cause of the accident must be recorded on the Workers Compensation Forms (CA-1 or CA-2), which supervisors must review, sign, and submit within 48 hours.

Promoting a speedy return to work

The longer workers are out from work, the less likely they are to return. Supervisors should be encouraging employees to return to work quickly by offering light-duty work and any other assistance whenever possible.

Are you looking to add some safety-conscious electrical workers to your team?

Let us know what you need, and we’ll help you find it. Contact the professionals at Outsource. We are the largest staffing firm in the nation specializing in the placement of low voltage and electrical talent.

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How Does Fatigue Affect Your Employees?

Business owners are always striving to make and keep their workplaces free of accidents. It’s a multi-faceted issue that can stem from faulty equipment, problems with the facility..

Business owners are always striving to make and keep their workplaces free of accidents. It’s a multi-faceted issue that can stem from faulty equipment, problems with the facility, or human error. But no matter the cause of a workplace accident, in most cases it could have been prevented.

One of the most overlooked reasons for accidents is employee fatigue. Exhausted workers can’t focus on the job at hand if they aren’t well rested. Lack of sleep weakens their cognitive function, which results in slow or incoherent decision making, and accidents become nearly inevitable.

Operating at a safe and productive level comes when your people are getting the proper amount of sleep regularly. They remain alert and engaged—and safer—when they are getting quality sleep every night. Conversely, fatigued employees are impaired. They are as likely to be injured on the job as a worker who arrives under the influence of alcohol. Consider these findings on how fatigue affects employees.

Both Intoxication and Fatigue Increase the Risk of a Workplace Accident

Everyone understands alcohol use leads to diminished mental and physical abilities. No business owner or manager would allow a worker to show up intoxicated. It would be a recipe for disaster in an already dangerous environment.

Yet, recent studies have shown the impairment that comes from too little sleep is equivalent to a 0.04 blood alcohol level. And the impairment begins with those getting fewer than nine hours of sleep. The less sleep they get, the higher the detrimental effect on their mental and physical faculties.

It’s vital to the well-being of their companies that employers become aware of the risks that a fatigued workforce poses, especially as it pertains to the increased risk of accidents. Adding to the potential problem are shift workers—those who work any shift outside of 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. They are the most likely to get less than the optimal amount of sleep because the shift rotations can interfere with their circadian rhythms, making them vulnerable to drowsiness on the job, as well as to physical, mental and emotional health problems.

The Effects of Worker Fatigue

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), accident and injury rates climb 18% during evening shifts and 30% during night shifts when compared to day shifts. Working 12-hour days has been linked to a 37% increased risk of injury.

Decreased alertness from worker fatigue has been a contributing factor in the following industrial disasters:

Although human error cannot be eliminated, it can be reduced by addressing the root causes of fatigue, including poor sleep.

Strategies for Reducing Worker Fatigue

Each individual is affected differently by worker fatigue, so there aren’t any one-size-fits-all solutions. However, following these basic strategies can reduce employee fatigue:

  • Talk to your workers about developing good sleep habits;
  • Encourage your people to take occasional breaks and vary their tasks;
  • Provide adequate lighting;
  • Avoid extended working hours when possible; and
  • Provide anti-fatigue mats for those who stand and proper ergonomics for those who sit.

Let Outsource Find You Talented Workers!

When you are ready to hire your next electrical professional, contact the experts at Outsource. We are the largest staffing firm in the nation specializing in the placement of low-voltage and electrical talent.

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Let's talk about the world of possibilities and how we can partner to make them a reality.

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