Category: OSHA

Getting Safety Buy-In offers current statistics you can share with senior management. We also include specific data about facilities managers and custodians. We’ll share data about workplace injuries, costs, and offer tips on how to present your safety recommendations to the organization for discussion and hopefully, get sign-off you may need by others.

Selecting the right safety equipment means considering all aspects of the product. For instance, investing in portable steps to prevent slips, trips, and falls will require a review of the equipment as a unit. Here’s a checklist of what to look for in moveable safety steps:

1. Does the tread rise meet OSHA standards?

    • Riser height should be 5 to 9 inches
    • Stair width minimum should be 22 inches between vertical barriers
    • Tread depth should be a minimum of 10-14 inches
    • Tread nosing shall be straight leading edges
    • Stair landings shall be at least 20 inches deep

2. Does the unit have guardrails?

  • Any working surface (platform) 4 feet or higher must be protected with guardrails on all sides; the guardrails should be at least 42” tall
  • Do the guardrails cover all open gaps?
  • If the unit abuts a solid structure, are chain guards present?

3. Is the platform height within 4x its base width?

  • Is there an outrigger connected to the platform such as a ramp or stairs that can add stability to the platform and increase the base width safely?

4. Are the stairs at least 16” wide, 7” deep, and have no more than 9” of rise between them?

  • Are the steps uniformly spaced and arranged?

5. Has the platform been tested to 4x its rated capacity?

When shopping for portable stairs, don’t be tempted to purchase based on price. Since you’re providing safety access equipment for your employees, go beyond a quick buy online and make sure the equipment you choose meets OSHA standards. The cost of one workers’ compensation claim, time lost, and productivity lost stands out in sharp relief against a non-standard internet “special”.

However, by using this checklist to ensure your portal stairs conform to OSHA standards, you can choose safety access equipment that serves its purpose — to provide ergonomic access for employees. Your investment in the right product, such as the Dumpster Access stair and ramp units, will pay dividends by helping keep your employees safe and on the job.

Calculate Your Risks

Workplace injuries can erode profits and morale. OSHA Safety Pays program shows the true cost of an injured employee. The Compensation Calculator helps businesses understand the extent of costs associated with an injury. Even with one instance of back injury (Strain), at a low-estimated cost of $20,000 and a profit margin of 3%, the OSHA calculator shows the estimated indirect cost (this is what the employer pays) is a little more than $80,000.00. Direct costs are estimated at about $73,000.00. Combined, one back strain can cost north of $150,000.00.

This is for a single back sprain injury. The calculator also provides a second area to show how many sales a business would need to make to cover both the direct and indirect costs, based on a business’ profit margin percentage. The calculator, by default, will provide a 3% by default. At just three percent, the sales combined for direct and indirect that would be needed to cover this single example injury is a staggering $7.8 million. To learn more about how the cost estimates are calculated, read the OSHA Background page.

Safe Environments Are More Productive

Of course, providing an ergonomically sound way for employees to safely access work areas is simple compared to the sometimes life-altering effects of an employee getting injured at work.

Less lost productivity, fewer workers’ compensation claims, higher morale, more efficient performance of duties, and many other factors are a result of investing in a safer environment for employees. Products like our Dumpster Access units are often used in multiple areas. The portable units can be easily unlocked and wheeled down the hall or across the warehouse or parking lot to the next duty. There are many alternatives to workplace injuries that are far less expensive. With a little time and planning, you can provide a sound and productive environment.

Seamless Options For Your Environment

Dumpster Access units are available as ramps or stairs and have safety handrails, and chain-guards. A workplace environment needing more complex or customized solutions can review the Work Safe Access options. Schools looking for ADA safe access solutions can visit Welcome Ramp Systems.

Prevention Adds to Profits

Whether it is a Dumpster Access Unit, School stairs and ramps, or something uniquely custom for the workplace, these are a few examples of safe access equipment that can provide a safer environment for employees, and a better result to a business’ bottom line.

The Risk Management Case for Work Safe Access Safety Stairs
 
School bus drivers and student passengers perform emergency evacuation drills. These required drills happen on school premises within the first six weeks of each semester.
 
The goal is to ensure the driver can get themselves and the students off the bus fast. They must use the emergency exit door at the back of the bus. Washington state law requires bus drivers to exit the back of the bus within 25 seconds. Bus drivers must jump or slide out of the rear exit door.
 
Hundreds of people are making a leap of up to four feet off the back end of the bus every few weeks. Performing this drill without a safety access has resulted in serious injuries. Without units like our DSW-2 or DSW-3 units, this maneuver has resulted in broken legs, fractured ankles, and time-loss claims. Schools abiding by the drill schedule run the risk of injuries.
 
Required testing of the emergency evacuation procedures can be safe. Office of State Public Instruction recognizes that using safety platforms and stairs creates a safer environment for the training drills.
 
Our simple, elegant solution adds one more critical measure of safety. Bus drivers and students alike stay focused on the drills without worry of injury.