June is National Safety Month – the perfect time to talk about ways we make safety “built in” at Braun Intertec. First, let’s talk numbers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the National Academy of Social Insurance, workplace injuries and accidents (where employees miss six or more days of work) cost U.S. employers more than $62 billion per year. That means more than $1 billion per week is spent on preventable injuries in U.S. workplaces. And these numbers don’t account for the toll that workplace injuries have on employees and their families. The costs are too high for “bolt on” solutions. Here are ways we continue to work to build safety into our daily habits:
- Start your day with safety. Begin with a good stretching program to help prevent injury. Stretching delivers many physical benefits such as increased range of motion in joints, reduced muscle tension and enhanced muscular coordination.
- Develop a habit of pre-job planning. Planning out a job has a profound impact – if we plan out our task, it will help with unexpected issues and can prevent rushing. Planning helps keep your mind on the job at hand. “Do I understand the potential hazards associated with this task? Do I know how to protect myself from those hazards?”
- Inspect equipment before use. A simple inspection of equipment can catch damaged tools before using. Check machine guards, safety stop switches, electrical cords, frayed lifting equipment, gas monitor operation, etc. If damage is noted, remove the equipment from service until it is repaired or replaced.
- Plan for the weather. Get into the habit of checking the forecast and plan ahead. Have sunblock, raingear, temperature-appropriate clothing, and sunglasses ready for your work day.
- Don’t force it. If you are “forcing” a tool or object, there is an opportunity to be injured. Ask yourself: “Am I using the designed items appropriately? Do I need to obtain another tool?” Take time to evaluate the task (see pre-job planning above) to see if there is a more appropriate, safer tool to complete it.
- Track near misses and incidents. We document both near misses (leading indicators) and incidents (lagging indicators) to help us identify root causes and make useful changes to our workplace.
At Braun Intertec, our safety team seeks to continually improve our processes, procedures and behaviors. The team put together a safety representative program to keep all employee-owners informed of new safety equipment, policies and practices. Plus, we provide extensive employee training and engage our employees in actively focusing on safety, every day. We foster a safety culture and make safety a daily habit because having healthy, safe employee-owners is what matters.