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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 staying up to date on your company’s safety policy will help you make well-informed safety decisions during routine tasks. We’ve compiled our own list of top ten tips to keep you safe in the workplace.
- Check your surroundings
Make sure you’re aware of the potential hazards and risks associated with your role. 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.
- Use tools and machinery correctly
In order to use equipment correctly, it’s important to first ensure that operators have been properly trained. If you’re asked to operate equipment you’re unfamiliar with, speak up! It is better to be honest with your employer and receive proper training before putting yourself 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 clean any messes as soon as possible. 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. Be sure to always wear the recommended safety equipment and to use what is provided by employers. 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.
- Report unsafe conditions to your supervisor
By law, supervisors must ensure that their employees have a safe work environment. It is essential that any unsafe conditions are reported to them so that hazards can be properly handled.
- 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? Familiarize yourself with your organization’s emergency procedures plan so you know what to do 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.
- Know your rights and responsibilities under the Canada Labour Code
Any employee subject to the Canada Labour Code has the right to refuse dangerous work as long as they have reasonable cause to believe that it presents a danger. Employees also have a responsibility that requires them to follow all safety instructions and use all safety materials.
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.