Fatal work injuries are unfortunately much more common than you likely expect. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for example, there were 4,836 fatal injuries that occurred in the workplace in 2015 (most recent survey). The worst part about these statistics is that these fatalities should’ve been prevented, and they can be in the future — specifically, by adhering to stringent safety measures and strict facility codes.

The responsibility of creating and maintaining a safe work environment for all employees often falls in the laps of facility managers. If you are a facility manager, you are likely pretty handy and probably know a thing or two about safety. If not, how’d you get the job? You don’t need to answer this. We’ll just assume you’re being modest. In today’s blog post, Pacific Maintenance Company would like to share with you some simple guidelines that all facility managers should follow. As one of Santa Clara’s top commercial maintenance companies, we understand building safety, facilities support, and other issues that relate to the safety and compliance of commercial properties.

Follow Proper Fire Safety Procedures

While not all fires can be avoided, not being prepared for a fire can absolutely be avoided. There is no excuse to not have and know all the necessary fire safety procedures. As a facilities manager, you want to make sure that all of your fire protocol information is detailed and easy to understand for all those in the building — even if they are just visitors, it should be apparent where to go in the event of a fire. Additionally, there are a number of things that should be examined and monitored to prevent a fire from ever occurring. For example, check all electrical cords to make sure they are not easily damaged. Damaged electrical cords can be a fire hazard. If you spot a damaged cord, replace it immediately. Also, take all the necessary basic fire safety preventative measures, like checking smoke detectors and making sure there are plenty of fire extinguishers and that people in your facility know how to use them.

Reduce The Chance Of Slips And Falls

A wet floor can appear without notice. However, as soon as you notice it, cleaning it up and setting out proper warning signs should be your top priority. Not only can putting out a “wet floor” sign potentially prevent you from being sued in the event of a slip-and-fall accident, but this simple measure can greatly help improve the safety of your facility. Additionally, slip-and-fall accidents are not just caused by wet surfaces. For instance, walkways that are cluttered with boxes or hallways that are strewn with cables and cords can all cause trips and falls. Inspect your facility daily to make sure that there are not any tripping hazards that could easily be rectified.

Plan And Prepare

Emergencies can happen at any time. While we can never predict when disaster will strike, we can be prepared and know what we’re going to do if there is an emergency. For example, having a comprehensive emergency plan that details a range of potential threats and what you and everyone in the building should do in response can make all the difference. This planning should be reoccurring and regularly refreshed to ensure a consistent and well-understood strategy. Not sure that you have all of your bases covered? Check out How to Plan for Workplace Emergencies and Evacuations, published by OSHA.gov.

Be Vigilant Of Electrical Safety

Each year, electrical injuries make up a good portion of workplace accidents. Among the most common type of injuries are electrocution, electric shock, burns, and falls caused by contact with electrical energy. More often than not, these accidents could have been avoided through the practice of proper electrical safety and monitoring. The first place to start is to ensure that you have all the necessary equipment and that it is all in good working condition — yes, that means the saw with multiple rolls of electrical tape holding it all together might need to be replaced. Similarly, that surge protector that plugs into another surge protector that plugs into multiple extension cords needs to be refined and updated. Avoid overloading circuits, cords, and outlets. This not only helps reduce fire risks, but it also helps to avoid shock injuries, which helps to create an all-around safer workplace.  

Educate On Safe Lifting Practices

Running around your facility, barking out critiques of coworkers’ lifting practices might not make you the most popular guy in the office. However, with some tact, you may be able to save some backs and shoulders and other nagging injuries. According to the Bureau of Statistics, around 36 percent of injuries involved shoulder and back pains. What’s frustrating about this is that a lot of these injuries could be avoided by employing proper lifting strategies. Rather than going around individually and instructing people on safe lifting practices, hold regular trainings where you can demonstrate to employees how to safely lift and how important this is to your body’s health. This will work much better than shouting across the floor, “Wrong, Bob, wrong! You’re going to sprain your back.”

If you are in the Santa Clara area and are in need of facilities support, commercial cleaning services, cleanroom cleaning, exterior cleaning, or one of our many other services, we are here to help. Pacific Maintenance Company Learn more about Pacific Maintenance Company, and contact us to schedule our cleaning services or with any questions.