An industrial accident often has far-reaching consequences, not only for the injured employee, but also for his/her employer. The former is left with a physical injury, often requiring intensive rehabilitation; the latter is left with the costs incurred as a result. The expression “Prevention is better than cure” certainly applies in the case of industrial accidents.
What are the best ways to prevent them from happening? What measures can you take as an organization to minimize risks and mitigate against harmful consequences?
High time we provided a few tips and recommendations.
Table of Contents
1. Communicate safety instructions clearly
Preventing industrial accidents starts with clear communication. Make sure personnel receive the right information about risks and relevant safety measures. Use clear, simple language and hold frequent team meetings to cover the latest safety points.
2. Mark walkways and roadways clearly
In large industrial buildings and warehouses, a well-thought-out circulation/routing plan is essential to prevent accidents. Clearly mark walkways and roadways, and consider the following carefully:
- trucks – loading and unloading
- forklift trucks
- blind spots in and around buildings
- speed restrictions
3. Keep the workplace neat and tidy
Discarded packaging, loose cabling, and cluttered passageways are a recipe for disaster and have no place in a safe working environment. Keeping the workplace neat and tidy is essential to prevent accidents.]
4. Keep skills/qualification records up to date
It’s crucial that management knows exactly who has which skills and qualifications in order to ensure safety in the workplace. Skills and qualifications are often recorded in a skills matrix.
Want to start with skills matrices?
Do you need an overview of all the skills and competences of your employees? Download the free template and get started with the basic principles of skills matrices.
Having a skills matrix in Excel is better than having none at all. The problem, however, is that too often overly complicated spreadsheets are used. Keeping these spreadsheets up to date is often seen as an annoying chore that gets overlooked when there’s real work to be done. To complicate matters still further, things often go wrong when saving or creating multiple versions of the same spreadsheet. This quickly leads to confusion about who actually has the latest version.
Using AG5’s software, team leaders can enter updates and training results from the shop floor quickly and easily. Say goodbye to spreadsheets; say hello to version control you can trust.
With the latest versions of skills matrices at their fingertips, managers can see who has which skills and qualifications, and make sure the right people are in the right place at the right time. This is perhaps the most important factor in reducing industrial accidents.
5. Clarify personnel availability
Determining when personnel with critical skills and qualifications are available is not only crucial for preventing accidents, but it’s also critical for ensuring an adequate response in the unfortunate event that they occur.
Countless tools and systems are available that show when first-aiders or emergency response officers (EROs) are on business premises. Some apps even allow personnel to update their availability while on site so that system information remains up to date.
6. Turn data into information, information into insight
Data, information, and insight are crucial in preventing accidents and incidents. Thoroughly investigating a company’s working conditions, processes, and operating procedures can help pinpoint potential risks and hazards before something goes wrong.
Risk analyses also allow companies to take prompt and adequate measures.
AG5 software can help too. Suppose a production line needs retooling. Enter ‘production line retooling’ into AG5 and a list appears of all fully-qualified personnel, once again ensuring that the right person is in the right place at the right time.
7. Select the best team for specialist tasks
Accidents will happen! Especially when carrying out specialist tasks requiring specific techniques or methods. It’s important to address such situations on a case-by-case basis.
Using intuition or a gut feel is certainly an option, but it’s far wiser to put together a team based on members’ actual skills and qualifications. AG5 software allows team leaders to link specific team members to the expertise and experience required to get the job done. Putting together the right team for every project significantly reduces the chance of accidents.
8. Keep certification records in order
Managers often attempt to maintain immaculate and intricate Excel spreadsheets listing when employees received their SSC or first-aid certification. Yet it’s commonplace for employees to knock on managers’ doors announcing that their certification has just expired. Shouldn’t these managers have known in advance that their certification was about to expire? Up-to-date and real-time access to information is essential to prevent accidents.
Spreadsheets don’t alert you to qualification or certification expiration dates. AG5 software has a feature to set alerts for individual employees (or groups of employees) or for each certification. With the click of a button, a list appears of every certification or qualification that’s about to expire. What’s more, both the employee in question and the HR department automatically receive the alert in time to take appropriate action.
9. Provide proper personal protective equipment
Proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is essential for preventing accidents. This includes protective clothing, helmets, overhead working gear, ear protectors, etc. Always select the best PPE for the job at hand and lead by example. Don’t scrimp on safety on the work floor. The cost of purchasing proper PPE is nothing compared to the personal suffering and the financial blow of an accident!
10. Find suitable replacements
Everyone calls in sick now and then – even specialists who play a key role in preventing industrial accidents within a company. Finding suitable replacements is therefore essential to maintaining safety levels.
AG5 software provides an easy-to-use solution. Enter the name of the employee who called in sick and a list appears of all suitable replacements with the right skills and qualifications. How simple is that?
Looking to prevent industrial accidents using the latest technology? Consult a skills expert
In sum, preventing accidents requires good planning and smart software. Sound safety policies go a long way to preventing accidents and incidents. But it requires much more than simply keeping the workplace neat and tidy. They need expertise and planning.
AG5 software helps you focus on both expertise and planning, making it easier for you to prevent industrial accidents. Complex spreadsheets make way for automated, centralized skills-management systems that provide the most up-to-date information about skills and qualifications at the click of a button.
If you’re curious about how our software can help you, feel free to drop us a line. We’ll gladly bring you up to speed on modern-day skills management software.