In 2019, there were 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses. Is that much more than you expected? Then you might be worried about staying safe at work.
Whether you work as a barista, secretary, lab technician, or sky-diving instructor, all jobs come with some sort of risk.
If you want to stay safe at work, then read on. Here, we’ll give you 9 tips for doing so!
1. Take Necessary Breaks
While you’re working hard on a project, you might get in a groove. Or you might feel pressured to meet a deadline, so you’ve got your head down.
Whatever the case, you might not be treating yourself very well. But the fact is, many workplace injuries can simply be avoided if take the breaks your body needs.
For example, you should get up and walk around, free of any thoughts or conversation about the work at hand. Not only can this reduce stress, but it can also decrease the chances of getting an injury from repeated motions.
2. Ask for Training
A good employer will always train their workers thoroughly before putting them on a job. But sometimes, they cut corners and throw employees straight onto a task without any training.
If this happens to you and you’re not comfortable with it, make sure you ask for some proper training. This allows you to see someone else perform the task and also enables you to learn all of the rules and protocols.
3. Ask Questions
If you ever feel like you’re confused or not clear on instructions, don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s better to risk annoying a coworker or boss rather than try to charge forward with doing something you’re not sure about. And if they’re good workers, they should be more than happy to help you out.
Even if it seems like something simple, you might end up hurting yourself or accidentally putting others in danger. For that reason, it’s always better to be safe than to be sorry.
4. Wear Protective Gear if Necessary
For those of you who deal with manual labor, you’ll want to wear protective gear when necessary. It might be easy to just hop onto some machinery without donning equipment such as goggles and earplugs.
But in the end, you’re only hurting yourself by not taking a few extra minutes to protect yourself. So make sure you gear up to avoid future injuries.
5. Only Stick to Your Duties
Maybe you see a coworker who’s overworked and seems to be struggling with everything they’ve been assigned. You feel bad and want to help out.
However, some negative consequences can happen from this. For one, you might be overstepping work boundaries you shouldn’t. Also, you might be performing tasks that you’re not trained or qualified for.
The best thing to do is to let your employer or supervisor handle the delegation of tasks. You can always provide moral support to your coworker, but that’s all you should do. Helping might end up with injuries to yourself and/or others.
On that note, never assume you’re clear to do anything without direct confirmation from your boss. By assuming, you might take on a task with unknown hazards and you might end up hurting yourself and/or others.
6. Read up on Chemicals You’re Using
If you’re in a job where you deal with chemicals, then definitely don’t skip out on reading up. Those information sheets can quite literally save your life!
For example, with sodium hydroxide (or lye), you need to handle it very carefully, as it’s a corrosive agent. An information sheet will not only tell you how to handle a chemical, but it’ll also tell you what to do if you should come into contact with it.
So do yourself and your coworkers a favor and always read up on chemical sheets before you use them. That way, you know what to do in case of an emergency.
7. Report All Accidents and Injuries
Should anything happen while you’re on shift, you need to tell your supervisor. Even if it’s a small slip, you need to report it.
You never know if these small injuries will turn into something bigger. So you need to make sure your injuries are recorded so there’s evidence of a workplace incident. It’ll make it easier for you to claim workers’ compensation, should you need it.
8. Always Follow Safety Rules
Workplace safety rules are there for a reason. You might think they’re tedious and time-consuming, but these are protocols that have been put in place after meticulous planning.
So don’t even think about skipping steps when it comes to your job, especially if you work in a high-risk industry. Saving those couple of minutes is not worth a serious injury or even death.
9. Speak to HR About Any Concerns
HR is there to help keep employees safe and comfortable, so don’t be afraid to speak up. If you’ve noticed anything that can be detrimental to your health and others, book a meeting with HR.
If you don’t have an HR department, then consider speaking up to your employer about these safety concerns. They want their workforce as healthy as possible, so chances are, they’ll work with you to fix and eliminate these hazards.
Stay Safe at Work With Our Tips
Regardless of what job you do, you want to stay safe at work. With the advice we’ve given you in this article, you should be able to feel safer and more comfortable while on the clock.
So take good care of yourself, as a workplace injury or illness can put you out of commission for a long time. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
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