Welcome to Toolbox Talks, our new monthly column devoted to practical and relevant training topics.
WHY TRAINING? An insightful contractor commented that if everyone used their common sense, we wouldn’t have injuries or accidents on or off the job. Workers need to be trained in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions as part of company profitability and professional development. Using common sense is only part of the solution in preventing injuries or accidents. Toolbox Talks, easily found on the Internet, are an easy way for foremen and supervisors to supplement the OSHA training efforts of their company or organization, and to keep safety front and center in their workers’ minds.
Recognizing Unsafe Conditions
Recognizing unsafe conditions, or hazards in the workplace, is not just a Safety Committee responsibility. It is everyone’s responsibility from the most junior employee to the company president to identify hazards and make suggestions on how to fix the problem.
Causes of unsafe conditions or actions
- Poor housekeeping.
- Confused material storage.
- Careless handling of materials.
- Improper or defective tools
- Lack of machine guarding; failure to install warning systems.
- Lack of or failure to wear proper personal protection equipment.
- Worker not dressing for the job to be done.
- Failure to follow instructions.
Steps to take once an unsafe condition is found
- If possible, correct the condition yourself immediately.
- Report any major unsafe condition or action to the appropriate company authority.
- Follow-up – report the condition again if it is not corrected.
Remember: There are three steps to follow in recognizing unsafe conditions.
1. Look for trouble (the unsafe condition)
2. Report it
3. Act to prevent it from happening again.
NOTE: Always promote a discussion on any of the topics covered in the Toolbox Talks. Should any question arise that you cannot answer, don’t hesitate to contact your Employer.