On-the-Job Training for Off-the-Job Safety: Part 2

In last Friday’s Advisor, we began an overview of safety training topics to keep your employees safe off the job as they perhaps begin to tackle strenuous spring tasks in their homes and yards. Today, we go over a few more off-the-job safety topics.

To recap the situation: You already provide formal training in the tasks involved in your company’s operations, either as an OSHA requirement or because of the good sense of managers and supervisors. You may also reinforce the importance of safety by bulletin board notices or booklet handouts. So why not complete the holistic safety message by providing safety training in activities likely to be engaged in away from work?

What to Emphasize

Many of the dangers that need to be avoided are the same at work or at home. So it makes sense to focus on those hazards. Some reminders and suggestions relating to each of them follow.

Electrical Safety

Emphasize the same respect for electricity as you do in on-the-job training, such as:

  • Wiring: Do not overload circuits; know which rooms and appliances are on each circuit; make sure extension cords are in good condition and are not underfoot. Outdoors, avoid contact with overhead wiring and remember to “call before you dig” where there is underground wiring.
  • Appliances: Disconnect by grasping the plug (not pulling on the wire); never disable the grounding plug on a three-prong appliance.
  • Water: Always remember that water and electricity do not mix! Don’t place appliances or power tools where they can fall into water; don’t use such tools while standing in water. If basement appliances are under floodwater, do not enter: Have the electric company shut the power off first.

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Hazardous Substances

These abound in virtually every household and must be handled with care: cleaning materials, pesticides, paints, and medicines. Give employees these precautions:

  • Follow directions. Read the labels on all such substances (or follow doctor’s instructions for prescription medicine); understand which products must not be combined (e.g., bleach and ammonia).
  • Use personal protective equipment. Use recommended equipment: gloves, safety glasses, mask, etc., to guard against injury to eyes, lungs, and skin.
  • Store items safely. Keep them where incompatible substances will not mix and where children cannot get at them.
  • Get help. Know how to immediately contact:
    • Your physician,
    • The nearest hospital and poison center, and
    • Your local ambulance service.

Other Dangers

A homeowner may indulge in various potentially injurious activities for which he or she has had no on-the-job training because they are not part of the job. One activity might be the use of tools in the do-it-yourselfer’s workshop. Another is yard work, where power lawn mowers cause thousands of injuries every year, many of them severe.

Again, advise employees to carefully read and follow their equipment’s instructions to stay safe—and able to report for work as usual. Also recommend that they regularly use a mental checklist to ensure that unsafe conditions are promptly noticed and fixed. Another sensible habit is to avoid overexertion, whether on or off the job. All of these important, good safety habits are emphasized at work, and employees can easily be urged to follow them at home as well.

In short, when the company safety program includes a “take-home” element, that’s a “win-win” scenario for both employer and employee. Why not give it a try?

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Why It Matters

  • Fewer workers are injured or killed at work than away from work.
  • One study places the off-the-job percentages at more than half as many injuries and over two-thirds as many deaths as resulted from on-the-job accidents.
  • Other statistics indicated more lost workdays resulting from away-from-work injuries.
  • In light of these figures, on-the-job training for off-the-job activities makes good safety

1 thought on “On-the-Job Training for Off-the-Job Safety: Part 2”

  1. That is where true change is made. Been using at-home material in every training session for years while covering at-work topics. It all translates to stuff in our every day lives at home.
    Emphasize it, and you will be amazed at the feedback your employees give you from time-to-time about what happened over the weekend, or what could have happened!
    Safer at home = safer at work.

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