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Whether you work in an office, a warehouse or spend your work day in a vehicle, staying safe at work should always be a top priority. But in reality, how often do you consciously assess the potential risks around you and what you can do to avoid an injury?
Not only does a safe workplace reduce the risk of injury, but it also helps maximize productivity – which benefits both employees and employers.
Accidents and injuries can happen at any time, and helping your team stay up to date on your company’s safety policy will help them make well-informed safety decisions during routine tasks. We’ve compiled our own list of top ten tips to keep you and your team safe in the workplace.
- Check your surroundings
Make sure your team is aware of the potential hazards and risks associated with their roles. This can include anything from more apparent risks like working with machinery, to sharp cutlery in your office kitchen. Once you’ve established these potential hazards it will be easier to exercise caution in these scenarios.
- Train workers to use tools and machinery correctly
In order to use equipment correctly, it’s important to first ensure that operators have been properly trained. Encourage your team to be honest with their leaders if they’re asked to operate equipment they’re unfamiliar with. Let them know that it’s better to be honest and receive proper training before putting themselves in a potentially dangerous scenario.
- Keep it clean
Keeping your workplace clean and tidy will help prevent the spread of illness and contamination. Be sure to foster a clean and healthy work environment by cleaning messes right away. Use disinfecting cleaners or wipes on surfaces in communal spaces and on equipment like phones and keyboards.
- Use the correct safety equipment
Safety equipment exists for a reason. Ensure your team is properly equipped for their work and that they always wear the recommended safety equipment. This could include often overlooked items like sunscreen for outdoor workers and low-impact floor mats for workers who stand on the spot for hours on end.
- Maintain good posture to protect your neck and back
Any activity that is repeated over a long period of time can have negative health effects, and office workers are particularly prone to these problems. If you work at a desk, you should be able to sit at the back of your chair with your shoulders relaxed, your back straight and your feet flat on the floor.
- Encourage your team to speak up
To foster a safe work environment, it is essential that workers feel comfortable reporting unsafe conditions to their supervisors. Encourage your team to speak up about any concerns they have so that they can be properly addressed.
- Watch your footing
Slips and falls are a leading cause of occupational injury, but they are easy to avoid. Keep your workspace clutter-free to prevent trips and prevent slips by cleaning up spilled liquids right away. In the winter, watch out for snow and ice and alert your facility manager if an area needs to be cleared.
- Implement emergency procedures
Do you know what to do in the event of an emergency at work? Train your team on your organization's emergency procedures plan so you are all prepared in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.
- Ensure regular workplace safety inspections
Routine inspections are part of a good accident prevention, occupational disease and fire prevention program. They help identify hazards and are used to develop health and safety standards and procedures.
- Familiarize yourself with the Canada Labour Code
Maintaining a safe workplace is a shared responsibility among all workers in an organization. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the Canada Labour Code to be aware of what you and your team members should do to uphold safety in your workplace.
Workplace safety starts with you. Occupational safety is crucial to an organization’s overall success and it affects staff at every level in a company’s structure. Follow these tips, as well as your company’s safety guidelines, to stay safe in the workplace.
Looking to improve your organization’s safety? Find out how Bunzl Canada can help with safety supplies for your business here.