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Sunday 18.03.2018 | Name days: Ilona, Adelīna

One accident at work – one too many; expert talks about work safety

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUPractices in Latvian companies show that the general attitude towards work safety varies greatly. This is proven by situations when employees have to put their signatures under work safety rules but no real training follows, says business effectiveness expert Vids Petraitis says about the situation in Latvia.

The expert says: «Unfortunately, instead of using work safety as a tool to make work more efficient, many consider it a waste of time.»

He says companies have to work on educating employees of potential risks and offering solutions to increase work safety. This is why it is important to have employees that are well-aware of work safety matters are serious in following them.

Few accidents or no accidents at all does not yet mean everything is fine in a company, says the expert. He adds: «There have been many cases in which a company that has not seen any accidents for a long time stops diverting sufficient resources in training its employees. It is a big mistake to use plans to reduce costs or ensure more efficient resource use as an excuse not to take work safety seriously. Sooner or later this kind of approach will be the cause of an accident,» says Petraitis.

Another common situation mentioned by the expert is when company managers mistakenly decide their line of work does not require much attention to work safety matters.

«Anyone of us can name several different situations that could occur in construction or processing industry but are hard to imagine in an office environment. Nevertheless, we have heard of office accidents that resulted in serious injuries. Many office workers use chairs on wheels to reach for documents stacked on the highest shelf. Doing so is very dangerous,» says the expert.

«We have studied work safety processes in multiple companies. One and the same problem is noted again and again: fire extinguishers are often blocked by other tools and objects, making them harder to reach. The problem can be easily resolved by adding visual tags to different work areas: upon seeing what is located in each separate area, employees knew not to put tools and other objects there. Another example – an electronic loader collided multiple times with passing employees. The collision zone was later market with a warning colour, making employees plan their route to avoid it,» says expert.

It is a proven fact that some people work better with visual indicators. This is why it is recommended to use visual solutions in safety training.

But no investment in safety is worth it without properly trained employees. One of the best solutions is letting them offer safety plans, expert suggests.


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