Safety in the workplace is everyone’s responsibility. The safest workplaces are ones in which every employee knows the way to stay safe at work.
Below are some tips we can all use to stay safe while at work no matter what position we hold. Keep these tips in mind to avoid an injury.
Avoiding slips and falls – Falls are the leading cause of injury in the workplace.
- When walking keep an eye on the floor in front of you.
- If you see a spill, never just walk by it, always clean it up or call someone to clean it up.
- Wear nonskid shoes when you work in kitchens, outdoors, or any place where you will commonly be walking on slippery surfaces.
- Never climb on shelving units or storage units. Use approved ladders only.
- Avoid leaning on railings even if they look solid.
- Use a safety harness when working at heights.
Lifting properly – Some key points to consider when lifting.
- When approaching a box and not knowing what is in it, nudge the box a little with your foot to gauge how heavy the box is.
- Before you begin to lift or move a load take time to stretch. Stretching gets the body warmed up for the work you are about to do.
- Face the load, bend your knees, get a firm grip on load and lift with your legs. (Do not bend at the waist and lift the box up with your back. Keep your upper body straight and parallel with your lower legs. While grabbing the load push up with your legs, not with your back).
- Keep load close to your body.
- Don’t jerk your body or the load. Don’t lift and twist.
- Wear nonskid shoes when you are lifting often or lifting potentially heavy objects.
- Utilize mechanical lifting or moving aids whenever possible.
- Rest your back during periods of heavy lifting or exertion; take frequent short (micro) breaks. Give your body a chance to “catch up” and recover.
Fire Safety Tips – Understanding fire safety is important for any occupation.
- Have a fire plan in place for your work area, and make sure your employees understand it fully. Having a fire drill is a good way for employees to keep escape routes, meeting spots, and procedures in mind.
- Avoid the use of so-called “power strips” whenever possible. They are often prone to overuse and can start a fire if too many appliances are plugged into them.
- Keep all cleaning chemicals and other work chemicals in a well ventilated room. Many chemicals can emit vapors that are highly flammable and which can be set off with something as small as a spark from a faulty wire.
- Know where all fire extinguishers are throughout your work area and know how to use them.
- Remember grease fires cannot be fought by dousing them with water. Water will simply splash the oil around and spread the fire even further.
Office Safety Tips – Use common sense when working in an office or office type environment.
- Sit upright in your chair, with feet touching the floor when working at your desk.
- Before sitting down make sure your chair is beneath you and hasn’t rolled away.
- Always walk – don’t run.
- If you carry items, don’t stack so high you can’t see directly in front of you.
- Close desk and/or file cabinet drawers before walking away.
- Keep floors and aisles clear of items, cords, boxes, etc.
- Be cautious on wet/damp floors.
- When possible mop up excess moisture from umbrellas and shoes.
Report It -- Anytime you see something unsafe, report it to your safety building coordinator or administrator of your building. Examples of items that should be pointed out are:
- Torn carpet
- Loose tiles
- Wobbly steps or floorboards
- Burned-out lightbulbs
- Broken chairs or desks
- Defective equipment
- Stray electrical cables
- Obstructions of walkways
Emergency Preparedness -- Emergencies can happen, and being prepared for them ahead of time is vital. Below is a small list of things that can better prepare you for an emergency.
- Know your buildings evacuation plan in the event of a fire or other disaster.
- Know where the nearest emergency exits are.
- Practice fire drills at least once a year.
- During evacuation due to fire or other disaster use the stairs not an elevator.
- Stay away from windows during a tornado.