Employers should make the safety of their workers a top priority. However, employees should also take steps to ensure that they are safe on the job. It is important to understand that a worker can be hurt doing any type of job whether its using a keyboard to enter data or using large machinery on a construction site. What are some ways for workers to avoid injury while working?
Workers Should Use Proper Technique
If a worker is using a computer, he or she should sit up straight with both feet on the floor. To avoid eye strain, it may be best to glance away from the computer screen every few minutes. Those who are carrying heavy items should lift with their legs instead of with their back. It may also be a good idea to ask for help when carrying heavy objects or use a machine to do the lifting instead.
Scan the Job Site or Work Area for Potential Hazards
An employee will ideally scan a job site or work area for any potential hazards before starting a task. For instance, those who work in a warehouse should determine whether proper safety gear is available when working at heights. Office workers may want to make sure that they don’t have to repeatedly reach or bend for document or other supplies. Those who are working remotely or in a trench should be sure that they can call for help if necessary.
Always Use Machinery as Directed
It is easy for a person to get hurt by using machinery improperly. No one should climb on a machine unless there is a designated foothold that can handle a person’s weight. Otherwise, the machine could tip and fall on someone, which could result in serious injury. It is also possible that someone operating a machine could be hurt if it were to tip over for any reason. In addition to using machinery properly, a best practice may be to only use machines that you have been certified to use.
Stop Work If Conditions Become Unsafe
Those who work outside may be adversely impacted by changing weather conditions. If you notice that a thunderstorm is approaching or that windy conditions are making it harder to operate machinery safely, it may be best to stop working until conditions improve. You should also be on the lookout for animals or insects that may enter your work area as they may bite or otherwise attack if they feel threatened. If you are working in humid conditions, be sure to take frequent breaks and to keep an eye out for signs of heat stroke both in yourself and others.
Use Safety Equipment Properly
Having safety equipment doesn’t matter if you don’t use it correctly. Before putting on a helmet or goggles, make sure that it fits properly and will protect you from falling objects or dust in the air. You should also make sure that you know how to use eye wash stations in case something does get into your eyes.
If you are working around any type of machinery, be sure that you understand how to turn it off in an emergency. Never work at heights on a job site if there are no fall protection systems in place. In many cases, this knowledge could prevent you from suffering a serious injury or dying on the job.
There are risks inherent with any type of work that you do. Therefore, staying vigilant and looking out for your own safety may be the best way to increase the odds that you come home with your health intact each day. If your employer doesn’t have a written safety policy, talk to your manager or anyone else who will listen to have one implemented.