Workplace health and safety is something that cannot and should not be compromised. Safety at work is no less important than safety in any other environment. If you’ve finished cooking something on the stove at home, you would turn off the flame to avoid starting a fire, right? Of course, you would! It’s the same in the workplace, but unfortunately, many people don’t make this connection.
Let’s say that you work in construction, and for whatever reason, some of your coworkers decide not to wear a hard hat. They have no protection. What happens when something falls on your co-worker’s head? There’s a good chance he or she will end up in the hospital with a concussion, leaving him or her out of work for a significant period of time. This not only decreases productivity but also leaves the individual worker bringing less money home for his or her family.
Workplace health is not taken nearly as seriously as it should be, yet the consequences are serious. Based on the alarming number of work-related injuries, it is important to realize that no matter what field you work in, you are always at risk of getting injured. The National Safety Council reports that a worker is injured on the job every 7 seconds. That amounts to approximately 4.5 million workplace injuries a year.
The top three workplace injuries that result in lost work days are:
- Overexertion: lifting or lowering items and repetitive motions
- Contact with objects and equipment: being struck by or against an object or equipment, caught in or compressed by an object or equipment, or struck, caught, or crushed in collapsing structure, equipment, or material
- Slips, trips, falls: falls either to a lower level or on the same level
What can you do to make sure you’re safe at work?
Hopefully, you are beginning to realize the importance of workplace health! So, what steps can you take to ensure you’re safe on the job?
Here’s our list of 10 things you can do:
1. Keep the work environment clean
Working in a clean, organized environment is incredibly important. A messy workspace can create otherwise avoidable accidents. The more organized your work environment is, the less room there is for an accident and ultimately, the less likely the chances are that you will get injured on the job. This is key to maintaining workplace health.
2. Take breaks
Don’t overwork yourself. It’s important to remember that you’re not Superman – you’re a human being with limits on physical and mental capabilities. You’re not on you’re A-game when you’re in a state of exhaustion, and you’re also more likely to get injured. You won’t lose anything by taking five minutes to stretch and relax your muscles. Why not protect your body from strains and from repetitive motions? You’ll only benefit from this preventive habit.
3. Download a workplace safety app
Workplace safety apps can significantly increase your workplace health. If you work alone, say in an office or as an electrician, getting into an accident can, at times, be fatal. With nobody around to help, a minor injury could potentially turn into something much worse. But by downloading an app, like Silent Beacon’s workplace safety app, you’re never really alone. If you experience an accident at work, you can easily contact your family, coworkers, and first responders in an instant, quickly getting help and avoiding serious consequences.
4. Communicate with your employers
Don’t hesitate to communicate with your employers about your safety in the workplace. If you feel that something is a safety hazard, tell them! They want to avoid accidents just as much as you do because, well, if you get hurt, they lose money.
5. Pay attention when being trained
Training sessions are the times when you will learn important information to help you avoid an accident, so pay close attention. The information you learn during that training can quite possibly save your life.
6. Create a plan of action in the event that you’re in an accident
If you work in a group setting, collaborate with your coworkers to create a plan of action in the event that someone gets injured. Try practicing your plan to make sure everyone is prepared if the real deal comes along. If you work alone, download Silent Beacon’s workplace and health safety app so you can be connected at all times. If you’re ever in an accident, you know that help is just one click away.
7. Wear required protective gear
Requirements for wearing protective gear are requirements for a reason. They’re there to make sure you stay safe. If you work in construction and are required to wear a hard hat . . . wear it! Why risk getting a head injury that could otherwise be avoided?
8. Inspect your workspace regularly
This goes hand-in-hand with keeping your workplace clean. Conduct regular inspections to catch anything that could cause an accident before an incident occurs. Eliminate all potential safety hazards.
9. Make sure you understand your work instructions
This should be a given. Make sure you clearly understand all work instructions so you know exactly what you need to do. The less misunderstanding in carrying out the instructions, the less room there is for accidents.
10. Make sure machinery is working properly
This is really important. You want to make sure that all machinery functions as it should. If you’re working with a compression machine, for example, double check that it’s not set to a setting for a different job or that there are no missing screws.
Most of the strategies listed above are on the passive side, aimed at long-run preventive measures. But one strategy in particular, downloading Silent Beacon’s workplace and health safety app, provides you with an immediate sense of security. If you’re at the office tomorrow and you faint from severe exhaustion, you’ll be sure you’ll get the help you need simply by tapping the safety app’s panic button.
Of course, downloading the app won’t prevent an accident from occurring, but it does provide you with a sense of security, knowing that if an accident does occur, help is on the way. It’s an important step in the right direction.
“Workplace Injuries.” Workplace Injuries. 2019. Accessed January 10, 2019.