Whether you labor outdoors, at a desk, or with heavy machinery, you must be aware of the hazards in your workplace. To prevent workplace injuries, it is necessary to be aware of the potential hazards in your environment.
In this article, we will define workplace safety, discuss who is responsible for maintaining a safe work environment, and provide suggestions for ensuring that you and your workplace are always safe.
Why is safety in the workplace important?
When a company provides a secure working environment, it safeguards itself, its employees, and its customers. To remain compliant with local and national occupational safety authorities, it is essential to adhere to guidelines and procedures.
A safe workplace is a happy workplace because it creates a more comfortable and conducive atmosphere for employees to do their tasks effectively. However, supplying a safe workplace is also an essential component of client relations. If the office or work environment is hazardous for employees, it is certainly unsafe for untrained customers.
Who is responsible for ensuring workplace safety?
In some organizations, the Human Resources department is responsible for ensuring compliance with workplace safety standards. In the absence of an HR representative, management and administrators would ensure the safety of the workplace in other organizations. In reality, however, everyone is responsible for creating and maintaining a safe and functional workplace.
Advice on workplace safety
Here is a list of safety guidelines for the workplace that you should implement daily:
1. Employ tools, equipment, and apparatus
Using tools and apparatus properly can prevent injuries. Only operate machines for which you have received training or certification, and ensure that they are routinely cleaned and maintained. Always utilize machines and apparatus for their intended functions. Utilize equipment such as a wheelbarrow or a forklift to assist you in lifting and transporting large objects to avoid straining or injuring yourself.
2. Inform authorities of any hazardous conditions
Fix any hazardous conditions or hazards in the workplace as soon as you become aware of them. Notify a supervisor immediately if it would be hazardous for you to remove the risk.
3. Use all required safety equipment
Always wear the required protective apparatus. Reflective gear, fire-retardant apparel, industrial workwear, and even non-slip shoes may constitute the appropriate safety equipment for your workplace. Always wear a respirator mask if your environment contains debris or dust, or if you must deal with toxic or hazardous substances or fumes.
4. Maintain a clutter-free work environment.
A clean workspace will have a positive effect on your job satisfaction and keep you and your colleagues safe. You could trip and collapse over scattered objects, which may also conceal an unseen danger.
5. Stay hydrated
Consume sufficient water to remain alert and prevent dehydration. Even in the winter, staying hydrated with water and heated liquids is necessary to prevent dizziness and lack of concentration.
6. Use correct posture when seated or carrying
Utilize ergonomic workstations and keyboards to avoid wrist and arm strain. When moving objects, sit up straight, maintain your shoulders in line with your hips, and lift with your legs. Incorrect posture can strain the back, neck, and shoulders, resulting in severe injury.
7. Take regular rests
Frequently look aside from your computer screen to prevent eye strain. Taking frequent breaks allows your body to recover from the duties you are performing. You will be more focused and have a higher level of concentration when you return.
8. Be mindful of your environment
Awareness of one’s environment is essential for preventing workplace injuries. Here are some environmental considerations to keep in mind:
- Look for liquids or objects on the floor that could cause tripping.
- Take note of the safety equipment and gear required for each endeavor.
- Choose mechanical aids such as a loader or wheelbarrow to assist with lifting heavy objects, and encourage others to do the same.
- In the event of an emergency, keep emergency exits clear and uncluttered.
- Use equipment and machinery effectively to prevent injury, and encourage your coworkers to do the same.
- Identify hazardous areas and substances with the appropriate signage.
- Know where the first aid supplies are located and who is trained to administer first aid in the event of an injury.
- Know the procedures to follow in the event of a fire, inundation, or earthquake.
- Utilize only secure, stable ladders; never use crates or anything else as a makeshift ladder.
- Test railings before using them to ensure they are adequately secured.
9. Never use short-cuts
There are procedures in place to ensure worker safety. Although skipping a step or not donning safety equipment may save time, it is not worth risking injury. Utilize each instrument and machine per the instructions.
10. Maintain awareness of new safety measures.
Although it is the company’s responsibility to inform employees of new safety procedures, it is your responsibility to ensure you completely comprehend the information.