Workplace safety begins when employees who 'see something, say something'

There are some workplace accidents that come out of the blue. Machine failures and bad luck can strike at any time. However, there are occasionally telltale clues that something may be amiss on the floor of a factory or with warehouse's equipment. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) sponsors a program that can train employees to be on the lookout for these red flags.

The Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) offers classes and training to the workers of any company that signs up for it. Certification in the VPP ensures that all employees have been adequately shown how to spot hazards that could lead to injury.

Some things to be aware of while on the job include puddles of water, loose power lines, machinery that behaves strangely, and unusual debris. The key to getting staff to help make a workplace safer is to train them to be constantly vigilant. Workers who have been shown the signs of potential danger will be more likely to point it out to a supervisor and reduce overall injury rates. OSHA estimates that workplace injuries account for over $170 billion in losses annually.

Beyond properly educating employees, companies should provide the best safety equipment. Safety glasses, hard hats, and ear plugs are crucial to maintaining a safe workplace.  

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