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Wanting to know more about keeping your employees safe at home? Check out these great blogs.
Why Is Home Safety Important?
Home is usually where people feel most safe. Sometimes, the comforts of our own home can distract us from the hazards we face while there. House fires, natural disasters, and accidents in the home, like falls, are just a few hazards people face every day. It is important to promote a culture of safety not only for the workplace, but one employees can take home with them. This can be done most effectively through education and safety training.
All the possibilities for hazards are the same for work and home:
Making sure your employees stay safe and healthy are important to the company’s bottom line. If customers or clients learn that a company is not safe for employees, they may find elsewhere to do business.
Good employee morale reflects positively on customers and leads to customer retention and loyalty. Providing proper training and resources can make all the difference in the safety of your employees.
This ebook will cover the most common household hazards, tips at prevention, and the best ways you can promote safety at home to your employees. Remember, if your employees get hurt at home they won’t be able to come in and work.
Top 5 Home Hazards
The following are the top five hazards in the home:
#1 Hazard In The Home
First is poisoning. These types of hazards can be caused by gases, chemicals, and household cleaners, but prescription overdose is the top contributor. Make sure your employees understand the medication they are taking if they take any. This means doses, side effects, and drug interactions. Always suggest that employees keep common household chemicals like cleaners and pesticides securely locked and out of reach of children or pets.
Carbon monoxide and radon gas are also two top contributing factors to poisonings in the home. Most home improvement stores sell carbon monoxide and radon detectors. These are both very serious but invisible hazards. Sometimes, people do not realize their home is being poisoned by gases until injury already occurs. This is why using detectors is imperative to preventing injury.
These detectors work the same as smoke detectors and are worth the investment.
#2 Hazard In The Home
Motor vehicle accidents are the second contributor to accidents and injuries in the home. Not only are your employees at risk of injury, but they are also at risk of hurting others. It is important to remind your employees to always be paying attention while driving and to be cautious of other drivers on the road. Here are 5 tips for preventing car accidents:
- Pull into traffic slowly
- Always keep at least one hand on the wheel
- Do not tailgate
- Watch out for people running red lights and stop signs
- Never text and drive
Texting has become a lead cause of motor vehicle accidents, causing roughly 330,000 accidents each year (source). Educate your employees about the dangers of texting while driving, and remind them that their life is more important than a text.
#3 Hazard In The Home
Slips, trips, and falls are the third most common hazard in the home and are also very common in the workplace.
Preventing falls in the home is simple. Start by getting rid of rugs and carpets, add banisters or railings to stairs, and make sure your home has proper lighting. It’s best to not keep a lot of clutter on stairs, as well. Keeping the stairway clean will prevent the risk of tripping.
When doing household maintenance that involves heights, like cleaning gutters or trimming trees, wear a harness. These can be easily found online at an affordable cost.
When working outside in the winter, make sure to wear good shoes that are slip resistant. Remember to salt and shovel walkways, if necessary.
Also, make sure someone is home so
#4 Hazard In The Home
Another member of the top 5 hazards at home is suffocation and choking. 5051 people died from choking in the US in 2015 (source). Choking and suffocation is a hazard for everyone in the family, including children and pets. Making sure the floor and reachable surfaces are free from small objects is very important. Another thing to consider about choking is bite-size food. Cutting food into appropriately sized pieces can help to prevent choking on food.
Make sure that employees are trained
#5 Hazard In The Home
The final of the top five hazards in the home is drowning. In some places, this is an all year potential hazard; for other places it is seasonal.
Often times, swimming is paired with alcohol during holidays or parties. This is very dangerous.
Educate employees on the dangers of alcohol and swimming.
Also, employees should make sure to properly maintain a pool at home if they have one. Check with state or municipal laws regarding pools and fencing or gating them in.
Do not leave children unattended in the bathtub. Make sure to have any towels or clothing in the room with you and the child so there is never any reason to leave them unattended.
In 2016, there were 352,000 house fires in the United States (source). Cooking is the leading cause of house fires and the second leading cause of home fire deaths. Make sure your employees know to ensure the stove and oven are off when not in use, especially when leaving the home. Also, don’t keep flammable materials like towels or wooden utensils near the open flame on a stove. And most important, don’t fall asleep with the stove unattended to! If employees are feeling tired, they shouldn’t start cooking.
Often overlooked, but keeping your dryer lint trap free of lint is another tip for preventing house fires. Allowing too much lint can clog the filters and avert airflow to vents that prevent a clothes dryer from overheating.
Suggest that employees have a home evacuation plan that everyone understands, and make sure to pay special attention to the safety of small children and pets.
Another leading cause of home fires is electrical fires. In fact, 48% of house fires between 2007 and 2011 were caused by computers (source). That’s a pretty high number. It’s best to keep the room a laptop is stored
Also, educate employees on electrical cords and outlet hazards.
- Use power strips instead of extension cords
- Don’t overload an electrical outlet
- Always have the proper child or pet proofing measures for outlets and electrical cords
- Never keep cords next to potted plants that can spill or leak water onto the floor
Another simple tip is to make sure to use the proper wattage in light bulbs. Each fixture has a recommended wattage. Advise employees to be aware of these limitations at home.
Natural disasters are a hazard for everyone, but depending on where you live, some are less common than others. It is important to educate employees on the types of natural disasters they may be exposed to in their area.
There are many governmental and weather systems in place to notify or evacuate people in case of a state of emergency. Make sure your employees know to stay vigilant during inclement weather or any period of alert or warnings.
Weather hazards like hurricanes and tornadoes are often forecasted. Remind your employees about monitoring weather alerts during periods of inclement weather. Flash flooding is a more difficult type of natural disaster to predict, hence the origin of the term “flash” flood. Floods are not limited to one particular area, so it is important to have an emergency plan no matter where you live.
Thunder and lightning storms are another common occurring weather phenomena that are hazardous at the home. If your employees are outside and it looks like a storm is coming, make sure your employees know these 3 simple and potentially life-saving tips:
- When thunder is audible, move indoors
- Pay attention to alerts
- Unplug appliances, TVs or any other electrical items
Advise employees to keep flashlights or other battery-powered light sources available for any power outages, as well as keeping a cooler and ice for any perishable food items in the fridge. Also, keep tree branches trimmed away from the house to prevent them from falling during heavy winds or lightning strike.
Know The Difference: a thunderstorm watch means there is a possibility of storms in a specific area, whereas a thunderstorm warning means severe weather has been reported and indicated by radar.
Child & Pet Safety
At home, your employees may also be worried about their children and their safety. Parents play the most important role in keeping children safe. This means understanding the stages of your child’s life and childproofing your house accordingly. Smaller children need more childproofing measures than adolescents and teens. For instance, many people don’t consider things like magnets to be a major hazard, but if a small child swallows them, it could be fatal. The top three things to consider with child safety at home are:
- Never leave a child alone in water
- Never leave firearms unlocked or accessible for any age
- Make sure your house is secure and a child cannot wander away
Consider hazardous substances like household cleaners when childproofing your home, especially securing any accessible cabinets.
Make sure any medicines or over-the-counter drugs are out of reach of children. Using things like outlet covers and cord organizers can help prevent dangerous electrical hazards for children, especially those who are learning to crawl and exploring new things.
It’s important to teach your employees ways to childproof their home and make sure the most vulnerable people are safe.
This can be said for pets, too. There are many table foods pets should not eat, as well as common household chemicals and plants. Pet owners often revere their pets as family. It is important for the whole family to be safe.
It is also important to consider windows: Each year in the United States nearly 15,000 children are injured because of falls from windows (source). Screens are not strong enough to prevent children from falling. Install window guards with quick-release mechanisms (in case of fire) to prevent windows from opening more than a few inches. And keep furniture away from windows so kids aren’t tempted to climb near them.
Some of the same safety hazards apply to pets, too. Chemicals and electrical cords are a common cause of pet injury. Make sure to keep pesticides, chemicals, and electrical cords out of reach of pets and make sure cupboards are latched. Pets maneuver cupboards open just like small children. Also, consider what kind of household plants you chose. Research if they may be toxic to pets.
Remember to keep the toilet lid down. Some pets, especially dogs, will drink from the toilet, even if they have a full bowl of water. With the use of automatic bowl cleaners, these can be hazardous to pets. Make sure your pets have their own space and know their rules and limitations in the house.
How You Can Promote Safety At Home
The best way to promote safety at home is through education and training.
Digital training platforms, like Ving, offer the possibility for employees to be able to view lessons at any location. These short microbursts of information can be the difference
You can send lessons to any mobile device. This can help your employees maintain the safety mindset even while they are at home.
It is important that your employees understand the hazards they face while at home and the proper ways to prevent them.
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