Avoiding Commercial Property Hazards

A safety checklist for building and property managers.

Compared to many labor-intensive jobs, office workers have it pretty easy—at least when it comes to taking rigorous safety precautions. While a spilled cup of coffee or an open file drawer can certainly cause harm, the dangers involved in office settings often pale in comparison to those present in industrial or manufacturing worksite environments.

But that doesn’t mean that commercial building and property managers are off the hook on the safety front. Even though office buildings aren’t typically equipped with heavy machinery, complicated equipment, and dangerous chemicals, there are still a number of hazards that tenants can face. Not only should you take action to keep those on your property safe, you also will want to take precautions against a potential lawsuit.

Here, we’ve put together a quick checklist to help those in charge of property maintenance keep their buildings, grounds, and tenants safe and sound.

Keep Parking Lots and Sidewalks Clear

To keep your walkways clear of snow and ice in the winter months, we can’t reiterate enough the importance of using ice melt. But even as the ground begins to thaw, you’ll need to be on the lookout for cracking pavement, potholes, and other structural issues that could pose a trip hazard. Year-round, be sure you’re regularly monitoring the condition of your grounds—patch up any problem areas, pick up trash, and make sure that traffic markers are clearly visible.

Prevent Indoor Falls

Falls are the #1 cause of office injury, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. In fact, employees are 2.5x more likely to be injured from a fall in an office setting than anywhere else. Here are a number of tips to prevent falls indoors:

  • Provide small ladders or step stools for each office in your building—too often, tenants try to use dangerous swivel chairs to reach highly-placed items.
  • Be sure to line any potentially slippery surfaces, such as building entryways, with a skid-resistant treatment or carpet.
  • If your building has many sharp turns, place mirrors in the corners to help workers avoid collisions.
  • On multi-level buildings, stairwells are often neglected by cleaning crews. To ensure safety, make sure they’re consistently swept, and all handrails are in tact.
  • All trip and slip hazards—whether an exposed electrical cord, or a freshly mopped floor, should always be marked in yellow for maximum visibility.

Create a Hazard Reporting System

Property managers aren’t typically on-site at all times. To ensure that all potential dangers are noted and addressed, we recommend implementing a hazard reporting system. Whether you provide a comment box in the main lobby, or set up an online ticketing system, by offering workers the opportunity to share what they see, you’ll be able to maximize your awareness of potential problems and minimize the danger to tenants.

Need new safety supplies and equipment for your commercial property? US Standard Products is an industrial supplies distributor based in New Jersey. We provide a wide range of operational and safety necessities including ice melt, work gloves, and much more. To stay up-to-date on the latest workplace safety news and trends, follow US Standard Products on social media:

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Fall Protection Cited as #1 Workplace Hazard in 2016

According to new research released by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, fall protection takes the top spot as the most frequently cited workplace safety and health violation in 2016. The data was compiled from nearly 32,000 workplace inspections, and indicates several startling trends when it comes to on-the-job safety.

The entire list of top 10 workplace hazards for 2016 includes:

  1. Fall protection
  2. Hazard communication
  3. Scaffolds
  4. Respiratory protection
  5. Lockout/tagout
  6. Powered industrial trucks
  7. Ladders
  8. Machine guarding
  9. Electrical wiring
  10. Electrical, general requirements

With approximately three million workplace injuries, and more than 4,500 workplace deaths every year, this data is critical in helping organizations across the country hone in on the most predominant safety hazards and identify new ways to make workplaces safer.

One of the most important things companies should take away from the research is the fact that fall protection, along with scaffold and ladder safety, continues to be a major workplace hazard, as it has taken the top spot on the list year after year. Sure, accidents will happen, but with the proper training, safety equipment and adherence to the rules, organizations can make a difference in the number of fall-related injuries and deaths that occur each year. Check out our blog on how to prevent slips, trips and falls in the workplace for more tips on how to minimize the dangers of this common hazard.

Additionally, industrial and manufacturing companies need to take protective gear more seriously. With all of the technology available, both to make machines safer and to protect appendages from harm, there’s no excuse for lockout/tagout or machine-guarding injuries. To brush up on some of the most critical personal protective equipment, see our comprehensive PPE checklist.

As companies head into the new year, those in charge of safety programs should keep this list of hazards on hand. By keeping the most common dangers top-of-mind, they can adequately prepare their staff with the proper safety training and stock up on the necessary protective equipment. Together, let’s make 2017 a safer year in the workplace!

U.S. Standard Products is an industrial supplies distributor based in New Jersey, providing operational and safety necessities ranging from ice melt to work gloves, and so much more. To stay up-to-date on the latest workplace safety news and trends, follow U.S. Standard Products on social media:

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Avoiding Slips, Trips and Falls in the Workplace

Falls in the workplace are nothing to mess around with. In 2009, the Bureau of Labor estimated that 212,760 workers were seriously injured by a fall, and even worse, 605 workers were killed. And according to the National Safety Council, 25,000 slip, trip and fall accidents occur daily in the U.S. While workers across all trades face the risk of falling, the most dangerous trades of them all often involve working six or more feet from the ground, such as construction, roofing, tree trimming, utility repair, etc.

Here at U.S. Standard Products, we advocate strongly for fall prevention—both on the same level and to a lower level. We’ve compiled our top six tips for identifying fall risks and preventing fall-related injuries in the workplace.

  1. Be a pro; proactivity is the best protection – Implement regularly scheduled safety walkthroughs to ensure that all hazards are clearly marked, and your premises are kept in safe condition. Educate employees of the dangers and risks, and properly train them on how to properly use safety equipment. Not only will proactive risk mitigation activities help keep your employees safe, but they will also help you secure the best insurance at the best price.
  2. Don’t cry over spilled milk, just clean it up ASAP! – Spills, leaks, drips… they’re all dangerous the minute they hit the floor. Be sure that you have cleanup supplies readily available, including “wet floor” signs. Also consider applying a slip-resistant treatment to floors that are prone to getting wet.
  3. Say yes to yellow – Yellow is the color of choice for marking hazards that could result in accidents from slipping, falling or striking against something, according to OSHA Standards. Be sure all steps, corners, trip hazards are marked clearly in yellow to minimize risk. Learn more about color coding in the workplace.
  4. Light it up – Proper lighting is key for maximizing visibility and minimizing slips, trips and falls. All walkways, staircases, etc. should be well lit at all working hours. If working in a heavy industrial environment, consider investing in specialized rough service lighting fixtures to extend the longevity of the lamps.
  5. Ice, ice, maybe? – Snow and ice melt: your ultimate weapon against winter slipping. Stock up on more snow and ice melt than you think you’ll need before the first freeze so that you’re prepared when you need it.
  6. Boots and ladders – Workers who are exposed to vertical drops of six or more feet from the ground are at risk of injury or death in the event of a fall. It’s imperative, and required by OSHA, to provide these workers with proper fall protection equipment—whether that is the appropriate ladder or scaffold for the job, non-slip shoes, or personal fall arrest systems (PFAS).

U.S. Standard Products provides a wide range of safety products to help you and your team stay safe on the job. For more tips on safety in the workplace, follow U.S. Standard Products on social media:

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