Staying healthy and safe at work is very important for both employee and employer. No matter what industry you are in, it is important to reduce your risks of injury and illness at work as much as you possibly can.
Here are some tips and advice to help make your workplace safe for everyone.
- Understand the risks.
Once you know the particular hazards of your job or workplace, you can take steps to reduce your risk of work-related injury or illness, and create personal risk assessments.
- Reduce workplace stress.
The most common causes of stress in a workplace include long hours, heavy workload, job insecurity and conflicts with colleagues. Stress can lead to depression, sleeping difficulties and problems with concentration, which can then lead to injuries.
- Take regular breaks.
Staying fresh and alert will help you avoid injuries. Schedule your most difficult tasks of each day for the times when your concentration is at its best, such as first thing in the morning, or just after your lunch break.
- Avoid stooping or twisting.
Make sure your work area is laid out appropriately for your work use. Use ergonomically designed furniture and equipment, and rearrange your work area so that everything you need is within easy reach.
- Use mechanical aids whenever possible.
Instead of trying to lift or carry a heavy objects, use a wheelbarrow, conveyor belt, crane or forklift. If it is available use it.
- Protect your back.
If you do need to pick up and carry heavy loads, keep the load close to your body and lift with your thigh muscles. This will protect your back from any damage or strains.
- Wear protective equipment to suit the task.
If worn correctly, gear such as earplugs, earmuffs, hard hat, safety goggles, gloves or full-face mask can dramatically reduce your risk of injury.
- Stay sober.
Alcohol and drugs are a contributing factor in around 3% of workplace fatalities.
- Talk over any concerns.
Your employer or human resources manager need to be informed about hazards and risks. Your employer is legally obliged to ensure a safe working environment.
- Know your rights.
Organisations or unions can offer information and advice on workplace safety issues.