Whilst you’re at work, you’re likely to encounter a whole host of hazards; your employer is responsible for ensuring that the workplace is a safe environment for all staff. However, you can also do your bit to help you and your colleagues stay safe at work. Read on to find out more…
1) Ask for health and safety training: although by law employers should provide all employees with the standard health and safety training, many neglect this important aspect, preferring you to get stuck into work straightaway. Health and safety training can include a short DVD, followed by questions; a spot the hazard picture, as well as the obligatory showing round of where the fire exits are, where you report to in the case of emergency, etc
2) Ask for supervision: ask your supervisor to watch and check that you’re doing your job correctly. If your job involves a lot of heavy lifting and carrying, you must be shown the correct procedure so as not to injure yourself. Never carry something too heavy for you to manage safely; you risk dropping it and injuring yourself and potentially others.
3) Speak up: let your supervisors know if you think a task is too dangerous or difficult for you to handle. They can either help you, demonstrate what to do so you know for next time, or assign the work to somebody more capable. This is not an excuse to shirk away from your responsibilities.
4) Ask questions: your supervisors are there to help; if you’re unsure of anything, just ask them. There’s no use sitting there looking at the problem; supervisors are not mind readers. If you don’t know how to do something safely, ask them and they’ll be more than happy to help.
5) Learn emergency procedures: learn what to do and where to get help in the event of an emergency; you may end up saving someone’s life.
6) Don’t cause hazards: leaving a chair in the way of someone; balancing something heavy precariously on top of a shelf, and forgetting to put up signs when the floor is wet, are all potentially very dangerous. If you or a colleague were to get hurt, it would be your employer’s responsibility. Look after yourself and your colleagues by ensuring you keep a neat, tidy and safe work station.
7) Protective equipment: always wear any personal protective equipment provided by your employer. Yes you’re unlikely to hit the front cover of the latest fashion magazine, but it is important. Employers don’t shell out money on protective gear for no reason. Wearing protective gear and using safety equipment will ensure you don’t get injured at work.
8) Report all injuries: all organisations will have an accident book. If you sustain an injury at work, no matter how small, it’s important to record it in the accident book at the time. Should it develop into anything nasty later on, and you’ve neglected to record the incident, it could lead to complicated issues.
9) Watch out for co-workers: keep an eye on your colleagues and check that they too are being safe. Look out for each other and you’ll avoid many injuries and accidents occurring.
10) Sleep well: get a good night’s sleep before work; being tired can lead to mistakes that can potentially be very dangerous depending on your job. If you need to take a break for any reason, inform your employer.
- License: Creative Commons image source
This guest blog was contributed by Anja Sandersson a freelance blogger who often cover workplace and HR issues, such as where to source salt & grit for icy workplace spaces.