Health and safety are two vital factors to any business. Part of an employer’s legal obligation is to ensure that the working environment is kept safe and free from hazards for both his employees and the general public. Nevertheless, workers themselves can certainly take steps in order to ensure their own safety in the workplace.
Here are some of the ways that workers can stay safe while at work.
1. Get trained.
Nowadays, companies are paying more attention to workplace safety, and have thus started to pair up with companies and organizations that provide safety training to their employees. These trainings help workers in being able to identify risks, avoid hazards, and know what to do should untoward incidents happen that lead to injury or illnesses.
One of the leading occupational hazards, asbestos exposure, can be prevented by being informed. Employers whose workers have a high risk of being exposed to asbestos on a daily basis need to provide equipment and facilities designed to protect workers from exposure to the harmful substance. Knowing how to prevent bringing the substance out of the workplace and into the home will help protect the workers’ family members from second-hand exposure as well.
2. When in doubt, ask.
The need to do well and show off at work may arise in certain individuals, especially when a promotion is on the line. However, it is important to remember that doing a job incorrectly may not only mean losing a job, it could also cost a life. When in doubt about how to do any work correctly, it is best to check with co-workers, or better yet, a supervisor. Having a supervisor watch and check that a job is done the right way should be a priority especially when the job carries risks to health or life. When in doubt, always ask the right people.
3. Speak up on concerns regarding safety.
Safety concerns should not be kept to oneself. Rather, these should be aired out in order to avoid any job-related accidents. If a certain task is too dangerous or difficult to be handled alone, letting the supervisors know is a logical first step. Safety concerns are not to be taken lightly, and it is everyone’s job to see to it that any work hazards are reported to the right people in authority so that something can be done to prevent any mishaps from happening.
4. Know the safety rules and regulations.
Orienting oneself regarding safety rules and regulations in the workplace should be on top of any worker’s list of things to do at work. Know the rules designed to keep everyone free from harm before starting any job. Personal protective equipment and tools are there for a reason, and they’re meant to provide a net of protections to the person wearing them. Falls are common in the construction industry, and this makes it all the more important for safety rules and procedures to be followed in order to avoid any accidents.
5. Know who to call.
Aside from getting trained on identifying risks and keeping safe, knowing who to call or report to during emergencies is imperative in ensuring that help arrives in a timely manner. Report all injuries, no matter how small or minor they may be, as well as any near misses. Accidents that may not have caused physical injuries would still need to be reported in order for the safety team to check working conditions and ensure that such accidents don’t happen again. Know who to turn to or call when accidents requiring medical assistance do occur.
6. Be alert.
Feeling tired when working can lead to mistakes being made, which may or may not be dangerous to one’s life. Getting plenty of rest before heading to work will keep the mind clear and alert all throughout the shift and possibly keep costly mistakes at bay. However, being alert while at work does not only mean being attentive to the task at hand. It also means keeping an eye on co-workers – especially those new to the team – and offering a hand when necessary.
At the end of the day, being safe in the workplace is the responsibility of everyone in the company. Everyone has their own roles to play in order to ensure that the workplace is safe and kept free from unnecessary risks and dangers. Following the safety tips above may mean the difference between a freak accident and a life saved.
Angie Cole (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a content specialist for The Asbestos Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. This comprehensive training center seeks to educate and protect clients through a diverse group of classes and training seminars.