If there’s something that we can all agree on – most of us, anyway – it’s that nothing is more important than our health and safety. This is why it’s incumbent upon all of us to do our best to practice safety measures in our daily lives. The old parent-taught adage of “always look both ways before you cross the street” rings true for us all no matter our ages. So when it comes to being on the job, there’s no reason to stop taking care.
In fact, practicing safety at work is more than mandatory. Naturally, employers want their employees to work in an environment that promotes high levels of productivity. And that requires a workspace that is safe and fun to conduct business in. According to health specialist, Langdon Dement on EHSToday.com, “thousands of workers are injured on the job every year.” So what can you do to ensure your workplace is a safe one? Here are six top suggestions.
1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you can’t reach something, if something is too heavy, if you’re unsure of how to manoeuvre around something (you get the picture), simply request assistance. Dement writes that injuries due to bending, climbing, reaching, standing, sitting, slipping or tripping without falling are incredibly common. When one overexerts him or herself, it is bound to lead to some type of injury. Get help instead.
2. Be prepared for a fire. People tend to not take fire drills very seriously. Often, they’ll stroll through the doors while having casual conversations with their co-workers. That doesn’t mean that your business shouldn’t be conducting fire drills. WikiHow.com states that “fires are potentially devastating occurrences, putting many businesses, especially restaurants, in jeopardy”. The site also insists that you make sure that working smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are always installed.
3. Be mindful of where you walk. Yes, it may sound like a no-brainer to “watch your step”. But taking your surroundings for granted can often lead to injury. Dement writes that being struck by an object has accounted for 8 per cent of workplace injuries and $4.10 billion in direct costs, based on the 2012 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index. He recommends implementing policies that include the wearing of hardhats, glasses and goggles to protect workers in certain environments.
4. Clearly mark potential safety concerns with the proper signage and instructions. WikiHow.com provides us with this pertinent advice: “If an electrician is rewiring an area of the workplace, or if a crew is doing construction on a piece of railing, inform your employees by memo and by placing an appropriate, visible sign near where the potential hazard could occur. Don’t assume that people are smart enough to act accordingly. Spell it out for them very clearly.”
5. Maintain proper housekeeping. Who doesn’t like a tidy place? Keeping your office clean isn’t just great for aesthetics, it makes things safer. Dement writes that falling is among the top five ways that employees get injured on the job. The solution? “Proper housekeeping is one way to reduce injuries from falls,” he writes, “Keeping your work area clean and clutter-free is very important in preventing these kinds of injuries.”
6. Have an easily accessible first aid kit in the office. No matter what, accidents are bound to happen. So unfortunately, you won’t be able to prevent them all from taking place. However, you can certainly minimize the damage done by having help nearby. WikiHow.com recommends that you “consider investing in first-aid training or, at the very least, a first aid kit. First-aid training won’t keep the accident from happening in the first place, but it could help keep any injuries incurred during an accident from getting out of control.”