MRO Magazine

Four simple rules to stay safe


November 10, 2009
By PEM Magazine

One of the oldest and most popular true statements in our language is “Better safe than sorry.” That sums up a lot of situations people face — from driving a car to planning a project — but it’s especially accurate in manufacturing.

In terms of all workplace incidents, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2007 — the last full year for which complete data exists — there were approximately four million nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses. Roughly half of those were in the “more serious” category, meaning the workers involved had to take days off or
leave their jobs.

RSC Equipment Rental employs professional Regional Safety Managers to monitor company safety programs and look for opportunities to improve. The Safety Managers communicate with RSC branches about safety products and techniques, work-related safety issues, helpful tips and suggestions from other locations.

As many industry professionals say, “Safety is everybody’s job.” Here are a few key points to keep in mind when considering your safety and that of others.


Even with the best equipment and training, many accidents still happen as a result of carelessness. For example, from 1992–1997, there were 10 recorded fatalities involving people standing under the loaded upraised buckets of skidsteers. Remind your employees of this simple rule.

Insufficient sleep and fatigue contribute to worker casualties by impairing concentration. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) research shows that inadequate sleep could be responsible for as much as 18 percent of all worksite accidents. Let employees know that lack of sleep can be hazardous. If a worker shows signs of fatigue, notify a supervisor immediately.

Make sure everyone using equipment understands basic safety principles, such as not exceeding posted load limits and keeping lifts away from power lines. Common sense goes a long way in staying safe. Provide Operating Instructions.

Take the extra steps to make sure safety materials are available in multiple languages. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace fatality rates in 2007 were significantly higher for foreign workers, possibly because they couldn’t read instructions or warnings.

When people see their co-workers doing something potentially unsafe — either to themselves or others — they should point out the careless behavior and encourage safer practices. Many companies try to instill a “culture of safety” throughout their organizations by honoring consistently safe performances and penalizing poor ones.

This is an edited article supplied by RSC Equipment Rental. Image also courtesy of RSC Equipment Rental. For more on the company, visit