As a business owner, it’s important to keep your business premises safe and secure. This’ll ensure the safety, health, and wellbeing of your employees. Keeping the workplace safe can also protect you from losses, liabilities, and exposures to lawsuits.
The things you should protect your business from include fire, electrical hazards, dust explosions, and accidents. How do you keep your business safe from all the potential hazards? Check out these five business safety essentials.
1. Fire Extinguishers
When there’s fire in the workplace, a fire extinguisher can put it out or control it until the fire services arrive. This can save lives, equipment, and property.
Choosing your extinguisher
A fire extinguisher must have the seal of an independent testing laboratory, and labelled with standard symbols for the classes of fires it can extinguish. There are three basic classes of fires:
A red slash through any of the symbols means the extinguisher can’t be used on that type of fire. Some fire extinguishers can be used on all classes of fires.
The fire extinguisher you choose should also be big enough to put out the fire it’s intended to extinguish. It’ll have a rating on the label for the size of fire it can handle. The higher the number, the bigger the fire that the extinguisher can put out.
You can also choose between a rechargeable extinguisher and a disposable one. The latter must be replaced after one use.
Installing your extinguisher
Install your fire extinguisher in an accessible location, near an escape route, and away from dangerous equipment and appliances. It must also be in good working order and fully charged.
2. Extension Cords
If you don’t have enough cord for a radio or lamp to reach the nearest outlet, an extension cord will do the trick. But you should only use it as a temporary solution and then put it away when a more permanent fix is in place.
When you use an extension cord continuously over time, it can deteriorate quickly which can create a potentially dangerous electric shock or fire hazard.
When you’re using extension cords there are several things you must keep in mind:
3. Anti Dusting Equipment
Too much dust in the workplace can be very dangerous. It can either be from coal, silica, cement, asbestos, grain, flour, wood, metals, or materials like leather and rubber. A cloud of concentrated dust is potentially combustible and can cause fires or explosions. Dust can also cause illnesses and conditions like eye and nose damage, rashes, asthma, silicosis, mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer related to asbestos.
You can prevent and reduce the risks from dust by having anti-dusting equipment in place, such as:
Moreover, your dust collection and extraction system must conform to local requirements such as the fire code. The inlet should be located as close as possible to the dust-producing process. When you install the system, make sure to follow required standards and codes. Where possible, place dust collectors outdoors.
4. Protective Equipment
Fire, electric shocks, dust explosions, flying chips, and splashes of toxic material can all cause serious injuries and illnesses. You can also keep your employees safe from these dangers and other potential hazards by having them wear protective clothing or equipment. This can include:
You should inform, train, and instruct your employees on how to use, wear, store, and maintain their protective equipment to ensure their safety.
Choosing protective equipment
You should consider the following factors when choosing protective equipment:
5. Unplug Electrical Equipment
Electrical equipment in the workplace can include computers, telephones, TVs, aerials, kitchen appliances, heating and cooling systems, and electric machines.
Unplugging electrical equipment is also essential to keeping your business safe. Here are some tips: