Common Sense Safety

There are a number of safety problems common to most workplaces and job sites that can be solved with a little common sense. Planning and thinking ahead can help eliminate most of these hazards. Take a close look at your workplace with these suggestions in mind.

Eliminate Junk Piles

Eliminate Junk Piles

Organize a clean-up program to remove trash, broken parts, and scrap from work areas, walkways, storerooms, and neglected corners. Look for materials that have been stacked improperly. An unstable stack is a real danger to anyone who may be near if the material suddenly falls. Check such things as wood pallets, storeroom boxes, construction materials, and even office files to see that materials are stacked properly.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Examine all the operations of your workplace to determine if personal protective clothing is needed, then make it readily available. Ear protection, eye protection, hard hats, gloves, safety shoes or other protective clothing and equipment must be worn according to the hazard exposure

Don’t Alter Equipment and Tools

Don't Alter Equipment and ToolsMake sure all electric power tools are grounded. Protect yourself from electric shock by using tools with three-prong plugs, a ground-fault system or double insulation. Never cut off the ground plug on a three-prong plug. Check electrical cords and wires for any damage. Guard power tools and moving machine parts. Tools and equipment should never be operated with the guards or shields removed.

Use Ladders Properly

Inspect portable ladders to make sure they are secure and don’t shake or wiggle. Nonslip feet are a must. If a ladder seems weak, get rid of it—don’t let others use a defective ladder. Mark it defective and throw it away!

Fire Extinguishers

Fire ExtinguisherFire extinguishers are a must and should be mounted properly, readily accessible, and in working order. Check fire regulations to make sure they are properly placed and the right type for your work area. When was the last time your fire extinguishers were tested? Extinguisher inspections should be made regularly then tagged to show when and who performed the tests.


ExitStairsExits should be clearly marked with easy to read signs placed above the doors. Signs with arrows should also be used to guide people to the exit if the layout of the workplace is confusing to those unfamiliar with your facility. Illuminated signs should be kept in working order at all times. Don’t block exits or signs with vehicles or material. Another good idea is to mark doors that are not exits with “This is Nor an Exit,” “Restroom,” “Storeroom,” or “Closet.” Put rails on all stairways. The stairs themselves should be in good shape with nonskid treads. Repair those that are damaged or chipped.