When you’re at work, you expect to be safe. But this isn’t necessarily a guarantee.
Accidents at work do happen. They can vary in severity, but a huge proportion of them could have been avoided if the appropriate precautions had been taken.
So how do you keep yourself safe when you’re at work?
Check before saying yes to tasks
If you’re asked to carry out a task that could involve some risk – whether that’s because of the nature of the task itself or where it’s being done – you should make sure you know what the associated risks are.
Whenever there’s any chance of an injury happening, you should make sure you know what the health and safety policies are. If you haven’t been informed of what your company does to keep people safe, don’t feel like you can’t check. Businesses have put health and safety policies in place, so ask what these are.
It’s a good idea to ask for guidance on how to complete the task before you do it. Depending on the activity, there might be a certain way of doing things that can prevent injury. This might involve the use of equipment, so make sure you know how to use it properly.
Raise your concerns if you feel unsafe
If you don’t feel comfortable with the guidance you’ve been given – or if none has been given – then you can raise your concerns. Your employer should never force you to do anything that could put you at risk. If you think a certain aspect of your job could put you at risk, then you should feel confident in raising your concerns.
Even if you don’t feel comfortable, your manager will likely appreciate that you’ve spoken up about your concerns. You may have raised an issue they weren’t aware of and can then address. This could help them make the workplace safer for your colleagues.
Stress can mean that you’re not functioning at the optimal level. If you’re becoming particularly stressed at work, try to talk to your manager about it. Stress levels at work are a constant concern for businesses, so if things are getting on top of you, don’t suffer in silence. Sharing the burden can help to ease it, making sure you’re working as best you can.
Follow the guidance given
Everyone has a part to play when it comes to workplace safety. If you’ve been issued with guidance on health and safety procedures in your workplace, it’ll be for a reason. To keep yourself safe, you need to do what’s being advised.
This can involve wearing protective equipment, using certain aids rather than lifting something manually or avoiding alcohol or prescribed or illegal drugs prior to working hours. If you’re not doing what you’re supposed to do, you put yourself and your colleagues at risk. So it’s essential that you adhere to the guidance you’re provided with.
Your employer wants to avoid accidents just as much as you do. Don’t neglect to take on board everything your employer recommends, even if it appears minor. This can include things like maintaining the correct posture when at your work station or taking the necessary number of breaks to give your eyes a rest from computer screens. Don’t forget that office environments have their own specific hazards – it’s not just construction sites that pose a danger to workers.
Keeping yourself safe at work is down to everyone in your company. Everyone within an organisation has certain responsibilities to maintain health and safety. It’s important not to neglect your own responsibility.
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