18 Feb Front Line of Defense: Proactive Safety Monitoring of Your Workplace Environment
While there may be plenty of rules and regulations about how the workplace must be kept safe and healthy for all workers to conduct their job, it is also up to workers to take a proactive step in monitoring one’s corner of the job area. Workers are the front line of defense when it comes to seeing something that is out of place and must be fixed quickly to maintain a safe working environment.
Always Check Heavy Machinery and Vehicles Before Using
Manufacturing and construction sites can work in two to three shifts, depending on the magnitude of the job and the deadline for the job to be done. Within those shifts, or at the end of a shift, a maintenance schedule should be observed to ensure that heavy machinery is checked to make sure all parts are working properly and that the required maintenance plan for that piece of machinery has been done. This should be done before the next shift moves in to take over.
Machine maintenance plans are generally based on the manufacturer’s guide provided to the customer at the time of sale. The employer may also upgrade a manufacturer’s recommended plan to cover state (or national) regulations on how this type of equipment should be maintained to ensure maximum safety for workers. Additionally, all workers assigned to work with specific machines must be well-trained, both in functional machine (or vehicle) operations and in providing end-of-shift maintenance. You can view ADOT’s maintenance guide here as an example.
The employer/manager must set aside the required scheduled time whenever a machine is due for a full maintenance overhaul. The worker should take a proactive measure to check that each maintenance schedule, including the full overhaul, has been completed and signed off by the required worker before starting the new shift.
Notification to Manager or Employer
Never leave anything to chance as the full-overhaul maintenance worker might have called in sick, and for whatever reason, the scheduled overhaul may not have been done. Depending on how the notification system is set up, the worker should put in a note providing the date and time that this discrepancy was found and tag the manager so that the manager will officially receive the notification.
From there, email (preferred for documentation purposes) or a phone call should be made to the manager/employer to make sure they know of the situation. Follow the correct chain of command at the workplace for how such notifications are to be handled.
While a worker can think that nothing could really go wrong in using the machine (or vehicle), should there be a problem such as an injury accident, both the worker and the employer could be in a lot of trouble, including fines, for having bypassed the safety maintenance schedule.
Providing a Better Safety Maintenance System
Such situations, as shown above, should be about employees working with management to provide a better system that benefits everyone. When there are checkpoints along the way that must be observed, weak areas will show up quickly, and management, through the needed notifications, can step in to fix the issues.
The Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) website for the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH), provides links to other related areas readers can access to know more about safety at the workplace.
If you need help with your workers’ compensation claim or have specific issues related to safety management as part of the claim, call us at once for a consultation. 602-346-9009.