We all have the right to feel safe and secure in our workplace, whatever line of work you are in. Although all employers are legally obliged to take precautions to minimize health and safety risks in the workplace, we also need to take personal responsibility for our own safety.
The good news is that you don’t need to wrap yourself in bubble wrap and constantly wear a crash helmet to keep yourself safe, it is mainly basic common sense. These are a few tips to help you protect yourself whilst at work-
- Communication is vital, not just for your safety, but your colleagues and customers as well. If you notice that equipment is getting worn or something looks faulty, notify your supervisor or health and safety representative as soon as possible.
- Familiarize yourself with your company’s health and safety procedures. Every employer needs to conduct a risk assessment which will include ways to avoid hazards and the correct, safe way of performing tasks to avoid injury. You should also be made aware of the location of emergency exits, evacuation assembly points and first aid boxes as part of your orientation.
- If you ever out on the road as part of your job or spend time working alone, consider downloading a personal safety application on to your smart phone, such as the personal safety app from Lookout Call. These have features that ensure that you get a speedy response if you are in danger and to locate you if you break down in the middle of nowhere.
- When you are in a profession where you have to enter stranger’s premise, for example if you are an electrician or plumber, you can sometimes get a bad vibe straight away. Always trust your gut instinct and arrange for somebody to call you so that you have an excuse to leave if you feel unsafe. If this isn’t a viable option, try to get a personal safety app for your phone with features that autodial for you or that will raise an alarm if you don’t respond to a prescheduled call.
- Don’t use any machinery or perform any tasks that you have not been trained to do. If you have been trained but can’t remember the correct or safest way to do it, don’t be nervous of asking your supervisor or trainer for some refresher training.
- It may sound very basic, but ask anybody entering your premises, such as delivery or repair persons for ID. If you work in a space by yourself, for example in a petrol station or cleaning in the evening, try not to let anybody in that you are not expecting.
- When you have to travel for work, make sure that somebody knows where you’re going and what time you are expected to be there so you can arrange ‘check in’ calls.
- If you work with hazardous chemicals always read the bottle and act on any safety precautions the manufacturer’s advice, such as the use of gloves and ensuring you have ventilation.
It is very easy to keep safe at work as long as you maintain good communication with your employers and colleagues and don’t take unnecessary risks.
BIO: Katie Matthews is a manager within lookout call, a loneworker applications and safety specialist in the UK. Katie has worked in the technology industry for a number of years and has reviewed and written about a number of technology niches.