For the last 25 years, June has been National Safety Month, an initiative started by the National Safety Council. This is an effort to enforce safety standards and reduce workplace related injuries and fatalities. Not only for employers, but it also reminds workers they have the power to keep their workplace safe. In honor of National Safety Month, we’d like to take time to remind workers of three tips that could keep themselves and others safe in the workplace.
Report Unsafe Conditions
Companies and businesses are responsible for keeping their work environments as safe as possible. Factory and warehouse floors need to be kept clutter free, construction zones need to be monitored, and signage needs to be put up everywhere. However, while your employers are responsible for providing a safe environment, any time unsafe situations arise, it’s up to you to report it.
Don’t assume that someone else will report it, or that management will notice it and fix it. If a problem goes on without being properly reported, it could become worse. The first time you see a safety hazard is the best time to report it.
These conditions can be anywhere from water on the floor, to important equipment showing signs of wear and tear. If emergency exits are blocked off, or if you notice other workers taking shortcuts that could be unsafe, you need to say something. Your employer can’t fix things they aren’t aware of, so report, report, report.
Be Aware of Yourself and Your Surroundings
Working in a warehouse, factory, or a construction zone requires you to be hyperaware of not only your surroundings, but yourself as well. Many of these workplaces involve heavy machinery and immanent dangers. When operating these machines, you need to be sure that your co-workers are at a safe distance and are out of the main path of your machine, and vice versa.
When heavy lifting, the phrase “lift with your legs, not your back” is more than just a saying. Correct posture and the way you carry out your duties is a way to prevent injury on the job. And of course, if something is too heavy for you to lift by yourself, use a mechanical aide if available. If you do not know how to operate the mechanical aide, then ask someone for help.
Keep yourself educated and up to date on safety protocols as well. While your employer is legally responsible for a safe environment and for providing training, you need to ensure that you know all you can. Keeping an open dialogue on safety practices with your employers is crucial to the safety of yourself and your coworkers. In fact, this is the best way to make sure that your workplace is the safest it can be.
Take Care of Yourself
It’s just as important for you to take care of yourself as it is to be aware of your surroundings. Understanding fatigue, hydration, and personal protective equipment (PPE) are crucial for your safety at work.
Fatigue at work can be caused by over exhaustion and working too many hours in a day. Take regular breaks throughout the day and do your best to get a good night’s sleep. Know the signs of fatigue, too. They can be anything from being physically and mentally tired, irritability, lack of motivation, to even headaches, and prone to illness. Work with your company to avoid fatigue as best you can.
Hydration is important year-round, but during the summer months, anyone working outside or in an open-air setting needs to ensure they’re getting enough water. Heat stress can come from high temperatures, heavy workloads, and inappropriate clothing for hot temperatures. Heat stress can also start as a simple lack of concentration. So, drink up and find shade when you can.
PPE comes in many different forms, but it has a single goal: to minimize workers’ exposure to hazards. These can be gloves, safety goggles, ear plugs, hard hats, etc. Your employer must provide them, so make use of them.
Your Safety Matters
National Safety Month was created to reduce workplace injuries and, to a more extreme extent, workplace fatalities. Employers should do everything they can to keep their employees safe. But employees can also take steps to ensure their own safety and the safety of their peers.
FJC Personnel embraces National Safety Month and wants workers to be aware of it. We take pride in working with companies and businesses that practice and provide safe environments for their employees. Contact us today to find the job for you.