“Accidents at the workplace. Several are injured. The health and safety board will be investigating the cause.”
We hear these words on a year round basis yet accidents and injuries at the workplace continue to occur. Workplace safety is an important issue in the workplace as it can determine how long an employee stays, how long a business operates or even how many people wish to work at an organization. All workplace accidents and injuries are preventable and it is the responsibility of the company as well as the employees to make sure that these accidents do not occur. Here are five tips to help improve safety in the workplace. Be Aware of Your Surroundings This means getting to know where you’ll be working. Whether you’re working in a lab, office, school or construction site, get to know your surroundings. Observe where the work stations are, see where the fire exits are located and look for any potential hazards. Don’t forget to check for the air quality too. You don’t want to be working in a stuffy, hard to breathe environment as it could be detrimental to your health. Also, understand the risks of the job and the procedures to follow if injuries are incurred. While at work, stay clear of any and all hazards and don’t be afraid to ask questions to your employer and other employees about safety on the job. Report Unsafe Conditions As an employer, companies are legally obligated to provide a safe environment to all their employees. As an employee, report any unsafe working conditions or hazards within the company immediately to a supervisor, manager or any figure of authority. Inform your superiors of how long they’ve been occurring and if possible, how they started. Also, don’t be afraid to report any difficulties you face in performing your job. You shouldn’t have to face obstacles when doing your job and the company should make every effort to make sure that nothing impedes you from performing your work. Take Breaks Everyone needs a break to refuel and recharge. Regular breaks throughout the day prevents employee burnout and keeps them fresh on the job. It also helps to prevent work place related illnesses and injuries from occurring as being well rested makes you fully aware of your surroundings, allowing you to react much quicker if an incident does occur. Healthy and Safe = Motivation A healthy and safe workplace is a key factor in employee motivation. A clean and healthy workplace allows the employee to focus on doing their best work while a safe environment allows the employees to go about their jobs without having to fear their safety. Overall, it improves the function and productivity of an organization as all employees are committed and focused on their work instead of the dangers that may lurk. Know The Rules Another factor that contributes to the cause of workplace related injuries and accidents is the incomplete knowledge of on the job rules and regulations. We have the standard workplace safety rules (ex. WHMIS), the rules of the department and the overall corporate rules and guidelines. Knowing these rules and understanding them is the first step in preventing workplace injuries. As much as it is the corporation’s responsibility to educate its employees on these rules, it is also our own responsibility to learn and understand them. Once equipped with this knowledge, employees are much better off in dealing with the day to day activities of the workplace and are better prepared if an accident does occur. Work should be rewarding, not painful. Make workplace safety a full time job instead of a part time practice to make sure you don’t end up on the injury list.