As summer takes off, we speak to Director of Safety and Security Bill Briggs to understand how to manage and uphold the safety and security expectations of all GSI employees and why it is so important.
To be sure the protocol is being met, Bill shares five tips and offers his insight on what is essential to ensuring a safe and secure working environment.
- Always check your work area for trip hazards
Having a clean space keeps you safe as well as a great looking environment for our guests. Trip hazards are anything lying on the floor that could potentially cause you or anyone else to trip over and fall, such as cords, objects, and damaged floor surfaces. If an instance occurs where you cannot remove the hazard safely alone, notify management to have all issues corrected immediately.
Bill suggests that heavy items be kept at “waist level and below,” for easy transportation and less chance of injury or accident. “Especially for heavier items that may contain liquid since the weight shifts easily and makes transportation more difficult,” Bill explains.
- Wear the proper footwear
Though it may be the perfect weather for sandals and flip-flops, your safety is the priority. Open-toed footwear is prohibited for all employees on our Operations Team. Shoes should be slip resistant and comfortable enough to wear all day in employees’ respective positions. Certain positions may require protective toe shoes (such as steel-toed), which may be purchased through the GSI Shoe Program.
The GSI Shoe Program offers protective shoes for employees at a discounted rate. “Each employee is offered a 15% discount on a pair of approved safety shoes. They can apply this discount at any time, and it makes the required safety standards much more affordable,” says Bill.
For a direct link of where to purchase shoes with the program, visit the Guest Services’ Intranet and visit the “Safety and Security” tab on the left side of the screen.
- Stay hydrated
Throughout the day, it can be easy to forget to keep yourself hydrated. Even employees working indoors may become dehydrated due to excessive heat. Temperatures in units, such as our food kiosks and kitchens, often reach 85-90 degrees as a result of the heat generated from cooking appliances. Those who work outside in the sun should stay constantly hydrated before, during, and even after work. Proactive hydrating should begin days in advance.
If you ever feel light-headed or start to have any symptoms of heat-related illness, please notify management immediately.
- Determine if Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is required for all tasks you perform
Some jobs or tasks require certain clothing coverage or protective gear. Be aware of which ones you may need! For example, if handling cleaning solutions, check with your manager or consult your Safety Data Sheet to see if gloves and eye protection are needed. Obtain the required PPE and wear it when interacting with the solution and similar products. Other PPE may include protective toe shoes, which can be provided by the GSI Shoe Program, sunglasses, hats, gloves, etc.
For those operating cash registers, never share a cash register drawer with another employee. Cashiers should never give or accept any cash from any manager, cash manager, etc. without counting the funds together and ensuring numbers are completely accurate.
- Do not hesitate to ask another employee for help.
Yes, we know we all love our jobs, but sometimes being too independent during our jobs may lead to injury or worse. In instances such as moving heaving or awkward objects, be sure to use an aid such as a dolly or wheelbarrow. For tasks that you are unlikely to be able to complete alone, always ask another employee for assistance to ensure the safety of yourself and others. “Your fellow employees and yourself are a TEAM; don’t be afraid to ask them for help.” Bill encouraged heavily.
Following these five tips are vital to ensuring a safe and secure work environment for you and your fellow employees. Do not take them lightly, and remember the importance of due diligence to guarantee a safe work experience.
For any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org.