Tag Archives: pay attention


Most of us don’t have workplace safety at the forefront of our minds when we are on the job. Unfortunately, injuries in the workplace are far from uncommon. The U.S. Department of Labor has reported that 15% of accidental deaths in the workplace are caused by falls, slips, or trips, and also account for an astounding 25% of all reported injuries.

Avoiding falls in the workplace should be a priority for not only employees, but also for the employers who are legally obligated to prevent them. While you may get out lucky with just a bruise or scrape, falls can often result in death. Going forward, follow these safety guidelines to stay safe on the job, avoid falls, and focus on the task at hand.

Avoiding Falls In The Workplace 1

Falls account for 25% of all workplace injuries. They can be prevented.

Where do Falls Occur?
Most reported falls occur at ground level, either by tripping over an object such as wires or slipping on a liquid such as oil. The remainder are from falling from higher areas such as ladders, rooftops, steps, or a higher floor.

Avoiding Falls In The Workplace 2

Never allow boxes or other objects in main walkways.

Precautions to Avoid Falls
Almost all workplace falls can be avoided either by wearing the proper safety equipment or by making sure that workplace conditions are safe before working. Here are a few tips to help prevent falls.

Create a workplace clean-up plan that must be followed daily. Housekeeping such as putting away loose objects, cleaning up spills as they happen, and ensuring all equipment is properly tied down will help prevent most falls from happening. 

  • Always use equipment for its intended purpose. For example, when reaching for something up high, a safety ladder is a much better choice than a desk chair.
  • Wear appropriate footwear for the environment. Make sure the footwear provides the traction and protection you need for your particular job.
  • Keep walkways clear. Boxes, cords, and hoses should never be left in main walking areas.
  • Work areas should be well-lit, and lights should be turned on upon entering any room.
  • Always be mindful of your environment. Paying attention to what is around you can be a preventative measure in itself.

Avoiding Falls In The Workplace 3

Always clean up spills right away to avoid slipping.

Why is Workplace Safety, and Avoiding Falls Important?

The main reason avoiding falls and following workplace safety protocol is important is to keep employees safe, free from injury, and to avoid accidental death. If you are injured on the job, you will be facing even more issues than your injury.

  • Will you have paid time off if the injury could have been prevented?
  • Will you have worries such as how to manage finances if you’re suddenly laid off.
  • Will your health insurance cover the injuries sustained on the job?For employers, the cost of a fall in the workplace can be astronomical. Medical bills, paid leave, and legal fees are not worth ignoring safety protocol and ensuring injury prevention.
  • Falls can be prevented in the workplace. Following safety procedures, keeping the work areas clean and tidy, using equipment only as intended, and wearing safety harnesses when appropriate along with other safety gear will go a long way in the prevention of falls.

    Jessica Galbraith is a writer, blogger, and safety advocate. 


By Sarah Walden of UmbrellaBagger.com

 Traveling to the office during dangerous weather conditions can be frightening. Safety precautions are necessary for employees and management to remain calm, collected and protected during severe storms. Paying attention to any and all warnings before, during and after a storm secures employees during their commute and office hours. Aside from safety concerns, trekking to work in bad weather is uncomfortable and a lack of preparation can lead to an intolerable day.


Here are four tips to help make the rainy, slushy or snowy commute easier for full-time employees.

Stay Informed and Drive Cautiously

Set up weather alerts on a smart phone or computer the night before a large storm is due. Tune into the morning news while getting ready and take notice of the suggested strategies and tips for the current conditions. When leaving the house, travel with extreme caution and care. If proximity allows, consider carpooling with coworkers – multiple eyes and ears increases awareness of precarious conditions and helps ease stress for drivers.

Dress Appropriately

Invest in a reliable raincoat and sturdy rubber boots. Although clunky and awkward, protective outdoor gear helps keep work clothes dry. Forgoing style during the commute to the office is better than sitting in soggy clothing all day long which can lead to a head cold or wrinkled attire.

Take Advantage of Facility Accommodations

Spend a little more money to park in the indoor garage or covered lot on days when weather is extreme. Opting for street parking is usually the more cost-effective alternative, but defrosting a car after eight to nine hours of snow or ice build up is time consuming. Fallen tree branch damages or sliding accidents cost more time and money than garage parking fees.

Unlike drivers, walkers get stuck with soppy shoes and a wet umbrella after their commute. Office lobbies are often equipped with dry floor mats and a wet umbrella bag dispenser. Both resources prevent slip and fall accidents that are all too common during winter snowstorms and the rainy spring months. Don’t bypass these luxuries; they are in place to keep workforce visitors safe and dry.

Take the Day off or Work from Home

There is no shame in missing work if travel doesn’t feel safe. Use a sick day or paid leave if necessary. Although roads may seem fine in the morning, conditions can change rapidly in the afternoon. Getting home could be a nightmare and pose a greater threat than the initial travel. If necessary, ask to work from home. Most managers allow remote labor, as long as employees have a computer and the basic materials to complete their duties for the day.

Dealing with rain, snow and ice shouldn’t have to interfere with productivity. Instead of letting the weather dictate professional life, take the necessary precautions to aptly coordinate work-related travel.

Thanks, Sarah, for this unique idea for wet umbrella bag dispenser(s).  These would work great for work, school, or churches.  pb

Common Safety Hazards and How to Avoid Them (Guest Post)

Written by Jeanie Barcus

Work environments and public environments are often filled with a wide variety of dangerous hazards. In many cases, these hazards can cause an individual serious bodily harm. However, it’s often possible to avoid these hazards by following the right safety steps. The following guide provides simple tips and tricks on how to avoid public safety hazards.

When working at a job, it’s important to make sure your employees and peers are all aware of the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (OSHA) guidelines. OSHA is designed to protect workers from dangerous conditions that are a serious safety hazard.

It’s always important to be aware of your surroundings. If an individual is working around heavy machinery, it’s important to make sure that one pays attention to the location of moving equipment at all times. All it takes is a brief lapse of attention for a serious accident to take place.

In addition, it’s important to make sure that you have access to the proper safety equipment when working in dangerous environments. Employers are required to provide the right safety equipment to employees. This can include chemical-proof clothing, boots, safety helmets, gas masks and a variety of other accessories. 

For example, working in some environments can expose an individual to a variety of dangerous toxins. If an individual works in an industrial setting, he or she may be exposed to trace levels of dangerous toxins like mercury, lead, asbestos and uranium. In these situations, it’s important to make sure that one has the proper safety equipment to ensure a safe working environment.

In addition, it’s essential to make sure that an employee coordinates with his or her peers. Without coordination, it can be difficult to respond to a problem in the correct way. In some cases, responding to a dangerous system in the wrong way can expose other people to a potential hazard. To avoid these types of problems, it’s important to remain in communication with one’s peers at all times. 

Since it can be difficult to avoid all safety hazards in a work environment or other public area, it’s important to be prepared for the consequences of an accident. In some cases, an accident can cause a loss of income for an individual and his or her family. If this happens, it’s important to get legal assistance as soon as possible. By hiring a professional accident attorney, it may be possible for an individual to recoup some of the losses that resulted from an accident.



It’s a very natural thing to make mistakes as we go through life.  We may choose the wrong friends, mates, places to live, or even the wrong job.  Many mistakes can be fixed.  But at work, some errors are not “fixable.”  How many of us haven’t had a few “close calls” in life?  Drifting off into another lane, because our mind wasn’t on the road, catching a dish towel on fire on the stove, (which can be pretty frightening if you don’t get it under control!), or on the job – taking a risk that results in an event that could have been very harmful.  If we aren’t on our toes, things happen so quickly that they are not “close calls,” but deadly ones.  

It is necessary for us to make a mental assessment of how we focus on performing the tasks we are required to do.  Sure, some jobs are more difficult than others – say, working on scaffolding is quite a bit harder than sitting at a desk!  So, we need to analyze how many times we have taken a risk while doing our job, trying to take short cuts, or save time, that could have resulted in disaster.  A “close call” may actually be a blessing in disguise – if we learn from it. 

No one intentionally makes mistakes at work.  One of the main causes of errors is not paying attention.  Maybe you are thinking about a ballgame you watched the night before, or going to a concert soon, rather than focusing on your job.  What if that daydreaming causes you to forget about your risky behavior, which may get someone else hurt?  Staying out of the way of others is a good way to keep them safe – maybe they are carrying a heavy load, and you step right out in front of them, causing them to slip and fall.  Everyone should work safely and use the right equipment and personal protective equipment that is suitable for the particular job.  There are all types of gloves, glasses, goggles, protective clothing, boots, and hardhats that keep you safe from whatever  risks your job involves.  

Have you ever watched someone get so frustrated trying to do a particular job, that their temper gets the best of them, and they want to toss whatever tool they are using?  (This happens quite frequently on the golf course, I’m told!)  If you or one of your coworkers are guilty of this, back off and take a break.  Chances are, you’ll feel much better if you take a short break, plus, you might figure out an easier way to do the task at hand. 

When you make an error at work, do you:

  • Hope no one saw it.
  • Blame someone else.
  • Try not to do it again.
  • Learn from it. 

When you see someone else make a mistake at work, do you:

  • Go tell your supervisor.
  • Stay away from them.
  • Help them before they get hurt.
  • Learn from their mistake, and ensure that they learn, as well. 

There are many things that cause mistakes, such as frustration, fatigue, and pressure.  The main thing we must all recognize is that we must not lose self-control.  We must guard against making errors that can lead to injury.  We are being paid to do a job, to the best of our abilities.  Work and drive safely, and remember that one unguarded moment could lead to injury or worse.


We’ve talked about drunk, drowsy, distracted, and deadly drivers in the past, but how about “distracted walkers?”  The American College of Emergency Physicians issued a warning several months ago after gathering information from across the United States about the increasing number of patients that are treated in emergency rooms after being injured in pedestrian accidents while using their cellphones to text or talk.  And worse, just this week, a 14-year old boy in Florida was killed when he stepped in front of an oncoming car that he did not see because he was texting on his cellphone.  This follows pedestrian deaths in New York and Illinois that have prompted two state lawmakers to submit bills banning texting while walking in their states.

The thought of such legislation is sure to be the source of late-night jokes, but this is a serious matter.  Several states have already banned the use of cell phones while driving in school zones, and texting while driving has been shown to be as deadly as drinking while driving.  There’s just no way one can pay attention while typing and walking or driving.  As a public relations ploy last March, (which lasted only twenty-four hours), a busy street in London was pictured with lampposts covered with rugby goalposts cushions.  This was in an area that is known for heavy digital gadget users.  This gimmick showed that persons walked into lampposts, trash containers, telephone poles, and even walls while focusing their attention on their mobile gadgets.  Most injuries are superficial; however, there have been many deaths caused by either inattention of walkers, or drivers that have hit pedestrians who were either jaywalking or stepping off a curb while texting or talking on their phone.

If bicyclists, rollerbladers, pedestrians, and skateboarders could wait to use their electronic devices after they are finished with their activities, they will have a better chance to stay in one piece.  If they receive a message, they should wait until they stop to check it out.  It is the misuse of these expensive gadgets that is getting us in trouble – both behind the wheel and now on our own two feet.  It’s been proven that multitasking leads to less efficient production than focusing on one job at a time.  True, it’s hard to believe we ever got along without cell phones because of the convenience they afford.  But trying to communicate at a time we should be thinking about where we are going, and how we are getting there, is a risk we shouldn’t be willing to take.  Better to send or retrieve that message when you reach your destination safely than while you are waiting to be seen in an emergency room.

More than 1,000 pedestrians required emergency room visits in 2008 because they were distracted and tripped, fell, or ran into something while using a cellphone to text or talk.  The number of accidents is probably much higher than that, because many of the injuries are not severe enough to need a visit to the hospital.  Ira Hyman, a psychology professor at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington, recently conducted a study on this subject.  He noted that many times pedestrians using their phones don’t even notice objects or people right in front of them.  He says the term commonly applied to such preoccupation is “inattention blindness”, which means a person can be looking at an object but fail to process what it is.  He proved this when he and his students had one of the students dress as a clown and ride a unicycle around a central square on campus.  Twenty-five percent of people talking on a cellphone at the time did not even see the clown.

Hopefully, this will serve as a reminder to walk with care, just as you drive.  Teach your kids that safety should always come first.  It may be cool to walk around with an iPod, or phone, but tell them to get in the habit of thinking about the trouble these devices can cause by simply not paying attention.  This applies to folks of all ages; you could trip over your cat in your own home while you are talking on the phone.  Stay focused on the task at hand, and you will stay safe!