Accidents in the workplace are more commonplace than many people realize. The frustrating thing about the majority of workplace incidents that occur is the fact that most of them could be easily avoided if people were more aware of their surroundings and utilized more common sense when completing their daily tasks.
Many people become complacent with their safety at work because they consider their office or workspace as a “familiar” environment where they are guaranteed to be safe. This article will assess some of the tools that you need to have in order to ensure your safety in the workplace.
Your Common Sense
No, it isn’t just a trick answer! Your common sense is arguably the most valuable tool that you can use in order to ensure your safety at work. Many workplace incidents are the unfortunate consequence of a lack of common sense.
For example, collisions among people and walking into objects are among some of the most common causes of injury in the workplace. Why does this happen? Because people are too busy staring at their phones, scrolling through their social media feeds and not paying attention to where they are going.
In order to prevent yourself from getting caught up in an accident or incident that should be avoided, try and always be aware of what is going on around you.
Appropriate Equipment for Hazardous Zones
It is important to ensure that you always wear the correct protective equipment in the workplace. Whether or not this is applicable to you depends somewhat on your working environment and the nature of your job.
In warehouse environments, it may be necessary to wear high visibility clothing and hard hats so that you are both protected from falling objects and visible to forklift truck drivers.
In a manufacturing environment, ear protectors may be necessary or even masks from paint fumes.
It is the responsibility of your employer to provide the relevant protective clothing. However, at the same time, it is your personal responsibility to ensure that you wear the necessary equipment provided.
If you take it upon yourself to not wear the required equipment then not only are you potentially putting yourself in danger, you will also not be insured by the company should something happen to you.
Ergonomic Equipment at Your Workstation
People consider accidents and injuries in the workplace as things that could only happen to those that work in physical jobs but that could not be farther from the truth.
The reality is that white-collar workers are just as likely to experience pain and injury at work as blue-collar workers, it is simply that the types of incidents that they are likely to get involved in varies.
One of the main problems facing white collar office workers is aches, pains, and strains. Often this can be prevented with the use of the correct equipment.
An ergonomic chair helps to ensure that the employee is correctly seated at their desk with sufficient back support. Ergonomic keyboards prevent extensive typing from hurting a person’s wrists. Correct equipment helps prevent strains as well as more serious matters such as repetitive strain injury.
Comfortable Lumbar Support Pillows
Comfortable lumbar support pillows add just one extra level of comfort and support to employees whose job roles are predominantly sedentary. Back pain is no laughing matter and can result in lost productivity if an individual begins to experience serious problems.
Lumbar support pillows provide several functions. Primarily, the support that they give helps to maintain the spine’s natural curvature. They also aid in increasing blood flow, reducing the impact of back tightness and muscle fatigue, and often comfort to reduce back pain.
The responsibility for the implementation of this tool in the workplace rests predominantly on the shoulders of the employer, but if you notice something is missing then you should definitely address it with your HR department.
Safety signage and details of correct processes and procedures are important in specific work environments. They notify employees when they need to don their hard hats, when protective goggles and ear protectors are necessary, etc.
Always pay attention to safety signage and if you feel that it is missing from a location where it should be displayed, raise it with your employer.
Clearly Visible Evacuation Procedures
On a similar vein to safety signage, your workplace should have clearly visible evacuation procedures displayed throughout the various different buildings and departments. Again, if you notice that this is absent from a place where it is required then raise the matter with your line manager.
Remember that evacuation procedures are not just a decorative plaque that sits on the walls of your office. They are there for your safety and protection.
As such, it is important to familiarize yourself with the procedure information contained on these notice boards so that you understand what you need to do and where you need to go in an emergency situation.
A First Aid Kit
Your workplace will surely have comprehensive first aid kits stored in designated areas of the building, in addition to trained first aiders. Rest assured that if you ever experience a cut, a slip, or a fall, someone will be on hand to help. At the same time though, it pays to have your own personalized version of a first aid kit with you at all times.
Instead of just snacks and stationery items in your desk drawer, ensure that you have all of the medical items that you are likely to need. For example, extra boxes of prescription medications, band-aids, bandages, etc. You can ensure that these are safe by locking your drawer, but you never know when you may need these items.