An industrial accident often has far-reaching consequences, not only for the employee injured, but also for his/her employer. One is left with a physical injury, often requiring intensive rehabilitation – the other is left with the costs incurred as a result of the incident. 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 or mitigate risks?
High time we provided a few tips and recommendations.
1. Communicate safety instructions clearly
Preventing accidents and incidents 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. Use these 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 preventing accidents and incidents. Clearly mark walkways and roadways, and consider the following aspects 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 preventing accidents and incidents.
4. Keep skills/qualification records up to date
It’s crucial that management knows exactly who has which skills and qualifications in order to safeguard safety in the workplace. Skills and qualifications are often recorded in a skills matrix.
Want to start with skills matrices?
Do you need more overview on 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 overly complicated spreadsheets are generally used for this purpose. Keeping these spreadsheets up to date is often seen as an annoying chore that often 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. 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 to preventing accidents and incidents, but also to responding adequately 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 to 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 with this 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 and incidents.
8. Keep certification records in order
Managers often maintain immaculate and intricate Excel spreadsheets listing when employees received their SSC or first-aid certification. Even so, it’s commonplace for employees to knock on these same managers’ doors only to announce that their certification has just expired.
It’s great they spotted this, but shouldn’t these managers have known in advance that their certification was about to expire? Current information is essential to preventing accidents and incidents.
Another problem with spreadsheets is they don’t alert you about 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 to preventing accidents and incidents. 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?
Preventing accidents with sound 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, it’s also about expertise and planning.
AG5 software helps you focus on these last two aspects and makes it easier for you to prevent industrial accidents. Complex spreadsheets are making 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.