Guest post by Jordan McDowell
The best workplace safety instructions and procedures in the world won’t make a worksite safer if safety training is completed but never demonstrated and put into place. The key to a safe workplace is good communication between employer and employee as well as putting into practice proper safety techniques.Lucky for you, there are plenty of safety tips out there that will make the workplace a much safer environment. Let’s review six of them right now and get you on your way toward being safer and more efficient in your workplace.
6 Workplace Safety Tips for Employees
- Mind Your Surroundings
One of the keys to maintaining workplace safety lies in getting a lay of the land. If you are a new employee, you should take a tour of the facility and look for any potential danger spots in your new workplace.
For employees who are already familiar with their workplace, this is a good reminder that you still need to be aware of your surroundings. All it takes is the improper placement of one tool or material for an accident to happen. Those extra few seconds it will take to make a visual inspection could save a life.
- Watch Your Posture
Whether you’re working in an office setting or doing manual labour, proper posture is crucial to avoiding injuries that could potentially put you out of work. For office workers, this involves asking for chairs with lumbar support if you need them and making sure to give yourself some time throughout the day to get up and stretch. This way, you’ll dramatically reduce your chances of encountering back strain or worse.
For workers with labour intensive jobs, posture is just as important. When it comes to lifting and hauling heavy materials, the proper lifting technique is paramount. Some employees make the mistake of lifting with their back, which makes them all the more likely to suffer a painful back injury. Lifting with your legs prevents this from happening and allows for an easier lift as well.
- Take Breaks
While it’s admirable to want to work through your break and get even more work done for the day, this can lead to a variety of complications. For those who work in an office setting, this can lead to eye strain. Left untreated, this can cause permanent damage to your eyes. Other possible complications include back pain and strain as well as carpal tunnel syndrome if your job involves a lot of typing.
Labour workers put themselves at an increased risk of sprains and injuries if they don’t allow themselves periodic breaks. Doing manual labor while tired or exhausted opens a worker up to making mistakes that they wouldn’t otherwise make. These mistakes could involve cutting a piece of wood to the wrong length, or they could involve cutting a finger. Either way, it’s easy to prevent this from happening by simply taking your designated breaks.
- Know Your Emergency Exits
Whether you’re working in a high rise office or building a high rise office, knowing your emergency exits is crucial. This involves consulting with your employer, who will provide you with detailed plans and instructions of what to do should an emergency happen.
Along with knowing your emergency exits in a situation where you’re working with machinery, it’s also crucial to know where the emergency shut-offs for the machines are. When an accident or emergency occurs, every second counts. Knowing where that shut-off is as well as how to safely leave the area can be the difference between life or death.
- Reduce Stress
One of the leading causes of workplace injury has to do with stress. Believe it or not, high stress at your job can lead to a variety of negative consequences such as anxiety or even heart disease. Along with taking necessary breaks and drinking plenty of water, ask your employer about what options they have when it comes to reducing your stress. There’s nothing wrong with saying you need help. You’ll never know the kind of help you might get until you ask.
- Wear Proper PPE
If you work in an environment that requires PPE, or personal protective equipment, make sure your equipment is tested for a proper fit. Whether it’s protective eyewear, respiratory masks, hardhats, or earplugs, your PPE should be comfortable, durable, and designed to protect against the particular hazards you may be facing on the job. Your employer should provide PPE options from trusted manufacturers to make sure you have the equipment you need to stay safe –– and compliant.
Safety is Possible
Safety involves a constant give and take between the employer and employee as well as a concerted effort on the part of the employee to understand and implement these safety procedures. If your workplace doesn’t follow the required safety protocol please speak up. Good communication between you and your employer will help keep you safe at work.
Author Bio: Jordan McDowell is a writer and content strategist. He specializes in technically-oriented B2B and B2C content for a number of companies, including Moldex-Metric.