Speaker and business consultant Ben Day discusses how
to avoid the easily missed hazards that lurk in a grooming salon.
Evading Slips, Trips
& Falls in Your Shop
By Ben Day
Did you know that the No. 2 cause of nonfatal, disabling injury in the workplace, right behind overexertion, is due to slips, trips and falls? Your age or at what pace you walk does not matter—anyone can take a tumble at any time. Granted older folks
tend to fall more often, but falls can also strike the young.
Of course, you know your facility inside and out—where the floor holds those puddles or the sidewalk has buckled over the years. You are also an expert walker; you’ve
got this walking thing down! So the phone rings and you are shearing Fluffy, but you
don’t want to miss a potential client inquiry. So you start to run toward the phone, you
get two steps in and then slip in a puddle because you don’t have an antislip mat. You
start to fall still holding your shears, Fluffy gets a mohawk during your rapid descent, and
you hit the floor, causing a broken collarbone and putting you out
of work for several revenue-depleting days. By the way, the phone
never got answered.
Just think: An inexpensive antislip or drainage mat would have
saved a client, saved you pain both physically and financially, and
possibly earned you a new client when you answered the phone.
Get the picture? Enough of the hypotheticals. Let’s talk prevention.
The best way to find those hazardous places is to have multiple
sets of eyes looking to identify the areas of concern. If your operation or the facility you work in is large enough, a designated safety
committee or safety coordinator might be beneficial. Some businesses
might add checking the facility to the manager’s monthly to-do list.
As time allows, explore the facility you work in daily and you
might discover many wondrous—or not so wondrous—things. We
get in such a routine that we might walk by, over or around a hazard daily with blinders on. Potential dangers include: tripping hazards such as telephone or computer cords across walkways, clutter
stacked in aisles, dim lighting, wet surfaces, holes in the lawn, uneven
sidewalks outside the shop and potholes in the parking lot.
Let’s further explore wet surfaces for a moment. Every employee
should have “mop training” as part of their orientation. If there is a
spill or mess, the first available employee who spots it should win the
honor of cleaning it up. Consider following the motto, “If It Drops,
Get a Mop.” Also, proper drainage in the bathing area should always
be maintained, drains should be cleaned on a regular basis, and antislip mats and proper footwear should be mandatory.
We have covered the inside, so let’s talk outdoors for a second.
But, you don’t work outdoors—only in the grooming salon, right?
Well, don’t you walk to and from your car? From time to time, don’t
you or an employee take your clients out to relieve themselves?
The only problem outside is the burning sun or cutting cold wind,
right? Wrong. You might be enduring those issues while also trying
to navigate the yard, sidewalk or parking lot on foot with maybe a
four-legged friend pulling you along. As you and Fido head toward
the back fence past the oak tree, watch for those exposed roots that
could jump up and trip you. Don’t forget that hole you saw Fido dig
last week to bury his snack; he probably forgot to cover it back up
when he retrieved it yesterday. And, remember, when you head to
the car after working 12 hours, there is that uneven sidewalk that the
safety committee brought to the attention of the owner last month.
The bottom line is this: Watch your surroundings when you are
walking. Talking, texting, corralling Fido or even chewing on a sandwich can distract you from that hazard up ahead. Walking is a job
everyone should concentrate on, or they risk ending up with an unanticipated injury they don’t want to endure. Let’s face it, if you are
laid up too long and not working, you can lose money.
Did I mention that the Occupational Safety and Health
takes a dim view of employee injuries? Come hear how you can stay off its radar. •
Ben Day has been in the safety profession for more than 30 years and holds a BBA from the University of North Texas. He began his career working for the university police department and a telephone
company’s security and safety department before transitioning into the professional employer organization (PEO) business. He served as vice president of risk management for two different PEOs in
the Dallas area before starting his own consultant business in 2010, Ben Day Business Consultants.
How to Be OSHA Compliant in
Grooming and Kennels
Wednesday, June 27
8 a.m. - 9 a.m.; Islander Ballroom H
Safety First in the Kennel
and Grooming Salon
Wednesday, June 27
11 a.m. - 12 p.m.; Islander Ballroom H
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