Five Tips for Developing a Safety-First Mindset

June 27, 2023

With a wide range of expertise throughout various sectors of the engineering industry, McFadden Engineering boasts experience in a variety of service areas. From involvement in facility management to wastewater treatment process evaluation and design, McFadden Engineering is familiar with wastewater treatment plants and the operation of those facilities. No matter the plant setup or the job within the plant, one thing remains constant throughout the industry. Developing and maintaining a “safety-first” mindset while on the job is the most important tool our engineers try to impart to our clients. 

Having a safety-first mindset means being aware of your surroundings. When working in an municipal or industrial wastewater treatment facility, it is important to remember you are working with equipment and chemicals that can be dangerous if not operated safely and correctly. It is important to keep this mindset to ensure your own safety as well as the safety of others in the workplace. With more than 5,000 fatal work injuries occurring in 2021, it is important to create a safety-first environment. Here are a few ways that McFadden employees implement safety in every project that we perform.

Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Wearing safety equipment means protecting yourself and those around you. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazards that cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses. Personal protective equipment may include items such as gloves, safety glasses and shoes, earplugs or muffs, hard hats, respirators, or coveralls, vests and full body suits. Employers should also train each worker required to use PPE so that they know when it is necessary, what kind of PPE is necessary, how to properly use the PPE, the limitations of the PPE and the proper care, maintenance, useful life and disposal of the equipment.

This equipment is used to help prevent injuries and illnesses that may result from contact with chemical, radiological, physical, electrical, mechanical or other workplace hazards. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards require specific PPE be used in certain settings (i.e. general industry, maritime, construction, etc.)  

Use of the Proper Equipment and Machines

One of the most common ways injuries unfold in an industrial work environment is through contact with machines. In 2020, there were more than 195,000 nonfatal injuries involving contact with objects and equipment. It can be easy to fall into a dangerous, yet convenient routine when operating equipment. Remaining vigilant and being aware of proper operating procedures while working with machines could be the difference between injury and safety. 

Knowing Your Workplace

Being prepared for unpredictable situations is one of the most important things you can do in the workplace. It is critical to know the locations of the nearest emergency exit, eye wash stations and other designated areas that prevent or aid in emergency situations. In the event of an emergency, know who to immediately inform, where they are located and the muster point of your facility.  

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Being aware of your surroundings is key to any workplace, especially in an industrial facility. This can involve anything from remembering to take breaks after long periods of work or using drip pans and guards when dealing with potentially hazardous liquids. Awareness also includes keeping your work area clean, keeping exits and walkways unobstructed and keeping your equipment organized and in the proper storage area. While some things may seem redundant and silly, remaining conscious and mindful of the little things can help make your job easier and keep you and your coworkers safe.

Be a Team Player

Being a team player means looking out for the safety of others in your workplace. This does not always require brave heroics but can be as simple as speaking up to supervisors about unsafe conditions. Although it may not seem like much, preventing falls in any form is a huge service, with more than 210,000 workers missing time in 2020 alone from fall-related injuries. Good communication with your coworkers is also important especially when working in a dangerous environment.  

A certain threat or risk is innate and expected when working in an industrial environment. McFadden Engineering is committed to creating the safest workplace possible. By developing and maintaining a safety-first mindset and utilizing these tips, you can help make your work environment safer.

For more information about McFadden Engineering’s Facility Management and Operations services, click here or contact our team.

Share This Page