Workplace accidents are a common occurrence, despite the mandatory safety regulations that companies have to adhere to and the protective measures taken to minimize risks and hazards.
It’s obviously the employer’s responsibility to ensure a safe and comfortable work environment for their employees, but with all their efforts and good intentions, it’s virtually impossible to eliminate all potential risks.
That’s why employees should also do their part in this respect. Therefore, part of the responsibility for making sure nothing bad happens to you while you’re at work falls on your shoulders.
Being proactive when it comes to safety at work can keep unpleasant events at bay and save you a lot of trouble and suffering in the long run.
So, if you want to address accident risks in the workplace effectively, the tips below can prove extremely helpful.
It’s easy to forget about the risks and hazards that surround you at work, especially if you’ve been working for a long time in the same place.
But even though you know your surroundings by heart and you are aware of the risks associated with your workplace and your job, you can never be too careful.
That’s why it’s best to stay alert and keep an eye out for potential hazards. This doesn’t mean you should take things to the extreme and scour every inch of your work premises looking for health and safety issues to report to the management, or be in a constant state of unrest, worrying about what might go wrong.
But paying attention to what goes on around you does help a lot and reduces the chance of work accidents happening in the first place.
Stay in the Know
Risks and dangers are a given, regardless of your industry or the activity you perform. Obviously, some occupations are a lot more dangerous than others, as the degree of risk varies across industries.
According to statistics, the agriculture, construction, and mining industries lead when it comes to the number of casualties caused by work accidents. People working in these sectors have to be extra careful to stay safe.
While you can’t change the nature of your activity, what you can do is stay informed with regard to the risks and hazards it involves.
Getting educated on this topic can make the difference between life and death in certain situations. Also, if a work accident does occur, it’s very important to know what to do.
There are plenty of online resources where you can find everything you want to know on the subject, from the steps you should take after suffering a work accident to how to make a claim for a workplace accident.
Follow Health and Safety Policies
Although it’s in their own best interest to follow safety guidelines, a lot of people tend to ignore the health and safety policies set in place by their company to keep them out of harm’s way.
You have to understand that your employer is not the only one responsible for ensuring workplace safety. You have to play your part as well, regardless of your role in the company.
Health and safety policies provide you with all the information and resources you need to avoid potential accidents.
They were drawn out by experts in the field, so instead of assuming you already know what you have to do in order to stay safe, make sure you read these guidelines thoroughly, attend training and safety drills, and follow the protocol at all times.
Don’t Ignore the Signs
We’re not talking about signs from above here, but about actual warning signs that are usually placed on work premises to inform employees about potential dangers and give out instructions on how they should approach specific situations.
When you see such a sign, don’t just walk past it, ignoring its instructions. These signs are put there for a reason, and your disinterest can cost you more than you imagine.
Also, in some cases, you might come across areas where a warning sign is needed but the people responsible for posting it forgot about it.
It will cost you nothing to take initiative and inform the management about the issue. These types of actions can keep both you and your co-workers safe.
Wear Adequate Clothing and Equipment
In certain work environments, there are no rules as to what type of clothing employees should wear, but in other work settings wearing the right clothing is extremely important. This mostly applies to factory or warehouse workers, who are exposed to a greater risk of accidents.
If your job requires you to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), be it safety boots, helmet, gloves, rubber shoes, vests, goggles, masks, or any other item that is meant to keep you safe and minimize risks, you should put them on before you enter the premises.
Even if you find it unnecessary to wear certain pieces of equipment, you should still play by the rules. The last thing you want is to learn the hard way what could happen if you don’t comply with these regulations.
Report Risks and Hazards
A good work environment is one where employees feel that their safety and wellbeing are top priorities for the management.
This comes from having a proactive rather than reactive approach to safety. Instead of waiting for issues to happen in order to address them, the management should take adequate measures to prevent accidents from happening in the first place.
But this kind of attitude is not only necessary at the management level. You can also bring your contribution by taking initiative whenever you notice a potential risk or hazard or when you think there’s room for improvement in certain areas.
Reporting issues in due time and providing feedback on the company’s safety measures can make a significant difference in boosting workplace safety.
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