There are many reasons why it is desirable to maintain a healthy work environment for employees. One reason that cannot be stressed enough is for your own safety. Any sort of slips, falls or trips in the work place could prevent you from working for months depending on the injury. More importantly, a work environment that pays careless attention to hazards could threaten your life. Therefore, it is important to understand the safeguards that help protect you from any work-related accidents. Causes of accidents: Presence of substances such as water, grease etc. on the ground Hazards that may lead one to slip can be found on both wet and dry surfaces Electric cables, curled up carpets, uneven surfaces or items left on the floor These are a few examples of the hazards which many cause an accident, these are all ordinary and common things and it is important not to become oblivious of them.
Dealing with spills: Don't avoid it; deal with it immediately Use an absorbent material to soak up the spill Clear the area around the spill Avoid cleaning the area with something already wet i.e. a mop Once the area is cleared place a wet floor sign over the wet area to warn customers of the potential risk involved in walking over the area Remove a warning sign when it no longer is applicable High-risk areas: Be aware of areas of transition, for example, an entrance, where people move from wet ground to dry Have precautions to remove moisture from footwear Invest in high quality mats along routes where most customers walk Areas of level changes e.g. stairs/steps, slopes/ramps etc. Make sure the surface is slip resistant Provide proper lighting so people can see where they are going Keep the top and the bottom of the stairs clean and free from obstacles Avoid carrying heavy items on stairs Cables and electrical equipment Identify cables that are trailing Identify faulty electrical outlets Make sure all electrical equipment is plugged in properly Poorly maintained flooring Identify poorly maintained or damaged floors; commit to repairs and prevent future damage Recognise mats and rugs that could hazardous and ensure they are controlled Chemicals Always be aware of how chemicals are utilised by reading the label for instructions Adhere strictly to the instructions
Keeping the work environment hygienic: Always keep this in mind: Clean as you go Keep staff areas and changing rooms clean and tidy Have a designated storage room for cleaning products and agents Use cleaning agents and equipment as instructed Don't leave all the cleaning for the end of the shift Keep floors and access points clear Avoid doing messy work near pedestrian route ways Make sure to have slip-resistant footwear for your own safety Assess the floor to determine whether cleaning is needed If you can, dry clean the floor with a mircofibre brush When cleaning with mop use hot water with detergent, do not use cool or dirty water Maintain clean floors during times of less business When possible block off an area being cleaned using a barrier Systematic procedures: Routinely check that your footwear meets the requirement of your working environment Routinely remind yourself of the necessary principles to ensure your work environment is safe both for yourself and your work colleagues
Working at heights: If you ever have to store away a delivery, tidy shelves or clean out any area that is out of comfortable reach you should commit to the following: Obtain a ladder or foot stool Make sure it is placed firm and secure on the surface below Never position in the way of a potential hazard e.g. doorway Always hold any safety handrails and clear items one by one Store the ladder or foot stool safely away
Lifting and Moving: This section is to help instruct you how to manually handle delivery items and other heavy loads properly in order to prevent any sort of injury, whether that be to muscle or the back. Get into position facing the item. Arms should be in against your body and feet spaced shoulder width apart. Bend down with your knees to draw closer to the item. Lift using your leg muscles. Hold item close to your body at waist level. Avoid twisting or quick movements with the item. Always remember to keep your back straight and bend your legs to lift.
Evacuation and alarms: Familiarise yourself with the sound of the alarm, where all the exits are located and where the assembly point is Once you hear the alarm: Leave the establishment via the nearest exit; ignore your personal belongings If needs be assist any customers that might need help in order to help the evacuation process flow Go to the assembly point Wait for the instruction of a manager before entering the building again
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