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Workplace Safety Tips
All good employers take steps to ensure the safety of their employees at work. But employees need to take their own share of the responsibility too. Workplace safety guidelines and practices will be worthless if employees ignore them.
We all would like to think that we will be safe at work. But do you take the same precautions that would at home? You think about safety when you are with your family and when you go out. But do you give it a second thought when you walk into an office?
Safety in the workplace is a shared responsibility. So, here are 12 workplace safety tips for you to bear in mind when you go into work tomorrow.
1. Be Aware of the Risks
There are dangers at work, whatever type of job you do. You can injure yourself on machinery in a manufacturing job, and you can slip on a wet floor in an office.
Understand what the risks are in your workplace. Stay alert to the potential dangers. Be safety conscious in everything that you do at work. It will help prevent you and your co-workers getting injured at work.
2. Take Responsibility for Safety
Don’t assume that someone else will fix it. If you see a dangerous situation at work, don’t say to yourself “someone ought to do something about that”.
Employers do have a legal obligation to keep employees safe, but they can’t be monitoring everything 24/7
If you see anything dangerous in the workplace, either fix it yourself, or report it. It would only take a minute out of your day to wipe up a spilled coffee on the kitchen floor, for example. But it could prevent a serious accident.
3. Keep Up to Date with Safety Procedures
Keep up to date with your employer’s safety procedures. They are there to protect you and your co-workers.
If a there is a new machine installed in your workplace, make sure that you know how to use it in a safe way. If your employer updates safety procedures, don’t ignore that email.
4. Know Where the Emergency Exits Are
Find out where your nearest emergency exit is. If you visit another company’s office, keep your eyes open for emergency exits there too.
You should know what you would do in the event of a fire or other type of emergency. In the same way as you would plan a fire escape route for your family at home, you should know your escape route at work too.
5. Don’t Block Emergency Exits
Emergency exits should always be kept clear. Don’t leave anything in front of an emergency exit. It could hinder people escaping from the building.
If you see anything blocking an emergency exit, move it or report it. Even a box of paper left on the floor for five minutes could be a serious safety hazard in an emergency.
6. Take Regular Breaks at Work
Don’t be a martyr to your job. Take your lunch breaks and take regular breaks throughout the day.
If you get tired, you will make more mistakes. You will also become less aware of your surroundings. Overworking to the point of near-exhaustion is bad for workplace safety, and it’s bad for your health.
7. Don’t Try to Lift Heavy Objects on Your Own
If you need to lift something heavy at work, bend your legs and keep your back straight. If the object is too heavy for one person to lift, get some help. Or, ask for the appropriate lifting equipment.
Back injuries can put you out of work for a long time. Lifting objects that are too heavy will benefit neither you nor your employer in the long term.
8. Always Wear the Protective Safety Equipment Provided
If your supervisor says that you need to wear earplugs or a safety helmet, wear them. Don’t take safety equipment off again when the boss is not looking.
If you think that you should have personal protective equipment and you don’t, don’t start the work until you do. Report your concerns to your supervisor. Ask for the appropriate safety equipment for the job.
9. Keep a Good Posture at Work
If you work at a desk, sit right back in your chair with your back straight and feet planted on the floor. Computer monitors should be at face height, or you will strain your neck muscles looking up or down at them all day.
10. Report Any Suspicious Strangers in the Workplace
If you see any suspicious strangers in your workplace report it. Large offices are not always as secure as they could be. If a thief is bold enough, they could wander around the workplace and help themselves to you and your colleagues’ belongings.
11. Take Fire Drills Seriously
Fire drills are not only an opportunity to stretch your legs and get some fresh air!
Learn the fire safety procedures in your workplace. Find out where fire extinguishers are. When there is a fire drill, take it seriously. Don’t hang about finishing your work or collecting your belongings. Leave the building immediately and go to the relevant fire assembly point.
Remember, fire drills are a practice for the real thing. They are an important part of your workplace safety precautions.
12. Stay Sober!
Go easy with the wine at lunchtime! If you go to work drunk or under the influence of drugs, you will be a danger to yourself and to your co-workers. It’s also very likely to get you fired!
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Have a great day and stay safe wherever you are.