The workplace is somewhere people spend the majority of their waking hours, and it can be an exciting, creative, and rewarding environment for many. On the downside, it can also be fraught with risks to your safety and well-being. Every year, thousands of people are injured on the job and many others die from work-related accidents.
It may be that you have a new job or are simply concerned about the safety aspects of your current one. Either way, this article can provide you with some helpful tips to ensure you remain safe at work.
Understand Your Company’s Safety Policy
Understanding what measures are required by law can help protect both yourself and your company. This applies whether you’re a new recruit or you’ve been working there for years. It’s important to know how to identify dangerous situations within a work environment, especially if there have been previous accidents or injuries there.
New Jersey, USA covers 8,722 square miles and is host to 9.4 million people. Workplace accidents occur here just like everywhere else. Just as you need to understand your company’s safety policy, you need to know what to do if something goes wrong. It may be that you end up needing a New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney to help you file a workers’ compensation or third-party liability claim. You may need their help claiming medical benefits, temporary total disability benefits, or permanent disability benefits.
Be Fully Trained To Use Your Equipment
There are a lot of training videos online for different jobs and equipment. If you can watch them before starting your role you will be ahead of the game in terms of safety. If it’s a legal requirement that you receive full training before you proceed, make sure your employee adheres to it.
Never use new equipment unless you are totally confident with it and fully trained. Don’t be afraid to request a refresher course later on – it will help you brush up your memory and also identify any bad habits that you’ve acquired.
Make Sure Your Equipment Is Fully Maintained
You should either hire the services of an external maintenance company or see if the suppliers of your current equipment offer a contract to do this. Whilst it will cost you money, it will provide you with extra peace of mind and potentially protect you from future injury claims.
Employees should never be afraid to confront their superiors if they have concerns over the equipment they are using. If they believe it is faulty or unsafe, they should refuse to use it.
Have Regular Workstation Assessments
Offices can generate health challenges just as much as construction sites. If desks and chairs are inadequate (e.g. at the wrong height or lacking in adjustment) they can cause back, neck, and shoulder pain for employees. People can battle RSI or carpal tunnel syndrome if things are not as they should be, including when there are issues with the mouse and keyboard.
This is why there are legal requirements that regular workstation assessments are made. Without them, people may end up off work and require medical treatment as a result.
Create A Safe Working Environment
Regular checks should be a normal part of working life. If there are cables strewn across the floor people can trip over them. Cabinet drawers should never be left open as they can be a trip hazard, too. If boxes are stored on top of cabinets they can fall on top of people. Spills should be immediately cleared up and if stairways are broken and unsafe they should be cordoned off and repaired.
A good policy for people who operate machinery is to have a buddy. This way they can keep an eye on one another to make sure they are safe. It’s not advisable to work alone, especially if it’s late at night. When dangerous equipment is in use, pets and children should be kept securely outside. There should be a clear policy regarding telephone use as well, as distractions can cause mistakes.
Employees should be clear about fire exits and what to do in an emergency. They should also know the location of the First Aid equipment, having trained staff onsite at all times. Security measures should be put in place to prevent people from gaining access to the premises when they don’t have clearance.
As many of these recommendations should be taken on board. In turn, the workplace will be a safer and happier environment, and everyone will reap the benefits.
Featured image: Unsplash (James Kovin).