Regardless of the industry that you work in, it’s extremely important to practice good safety habits whenever you’re on the job.
Whether you are an employer or an employee, following safety rules is paramount to your health and well-being as well as to your other coworkers.
Read on for a list of nine safety tips for work that you should follow in order to ensure a safe workplace every day.
1. Get Up and Walk or Stand as Often as Possible
You may not think of sitting at a desk all day as a health and safety hazard, but sitting down for long periods of time can wreak havoc on your body. When you sit down for extended amounts of time, it can put pressure on your spine, neck, and even on your wrists and arms.
Staying sedentary can also be detrimental to your cardiovascular system and can cause a myriad of other issues including weight gain and headaches. If possible, try to get up and at least stand for a few minutes every hour throughout the day.
Walk around your office, or go outside whenever you take a break to keep your body moving. Stretch your neck, back, and arms to make sure that your body stays limber and that your circulation is good.
If you can, ask your boss about standing desks. These unique desks allow you to work at your computer while standing up and they can do wonders for your posture, your focus, and your overall well-being.
To remind yourself to stand or walk, try an alarm on your computer or smartphone that alerts you every hour on the hour. This simple reminder will have you walking or standing each day at a reasonable amount that can help keep your body healthy. During your lunch break, try to use some of your time to walk whenever possible.
2. Your Back: Follow These Safety Tips for Work
Taking good care of your back in one of the most crucial of all safety tips for work. If you deal with heavy objects or do a lot of lifting, make sure that you are wearing a back brace or other means of back support while you’re on the job.
Practice smart lifting and always use the muscles in your legs to lift items, and never use your back. You can practice this at home with lightweight objects until it becomes a habit.
Whenever you lift something up, always do it straight and never twist your body while you’re lifting. This can cause serious back problems and may even cause you to end up out of work until your back muscle can heal. Make sure you know if your company has a workers comp doctor in case you do get injured.
3. Stay Hydrated
Most people love their morning cup of coffee, but you should also focus on proper hydration throughout your workday. Try to drink as much water as possible, especially if you’re working in a hot environment or perform a lot of physical activity.
When you stay hydrated, your mind will be clearer and you’ll feel better overall. Many times, work-related fatigue is simply related to being dehydrated.
Bring a large insulated water bottle with you from home and sip on it during the day whenever you can. If your employer has a water dispenser readily available, don’t be afraid to use it. Aim for 16 ounces of water by lunchtime, and then two more 16 ounces by the time you clock out for the day.
4. Handle Dangerous Substances Safely
Depending on where you work, you could be in close contact with a number of potentially dangerous and hazardous materials. Things like chemicals, oil, smoke, and other substances can cause respiratory issues, eye problems, and other serious health problems if you’re not careful.
Your employer should train you on how to handle these materials. When in doubt, ask them if you can be re-trained so that you’re confident in how you’re handling them every day.
Most industrial companies include air filtration systems and should make sure that each employee is wearing the proper safety equipment like heavy-duty gloves and eye protection. If you feel dizzy or unwell, alert your employer as soon as possible, get some fresh air, and seek medical attention right away.
5. Wear the Right Protective Gear
From mechanics to scientists, everyone should be wearing the correct protective gear related to their workplace. Never skip putting this gear on while doing a dangerous job.
You should always have some form of eye protection if you work near chemicals or use any kind of tool. Gloves designed to protect your hands are also recommended.
Some jobs also require the use of steel-toed boots to protect your feet when you’re on the job site. Check with your employer to make sure that you have all the correct safety gear you need to avoid illness or injury. If your current safety gear is old or worn out, immediately ask for new ones so that you’re confident in the tasks you perform.
6. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Most workplace injuries occur as a result of simple mistakes or accidents where someone wasn’t paying attention. Get to know your surroundings so you can be fully aware if anything looks odd, out of place, or unsafe.
Look carefully at the floor or ground to spot any spills so you don’t slip and fall. You should also be on the lookout for loose cords, ropes, or anything else that could cause a trip hazard. Check all of your personal protective safety gear before you start working to make sure that everything looks good and that it’s being used the right way.
If you notice anything that looks off or that needs attention, point it out to your supervisor immediately. Knowing what a safe job site looks like can often mean the difference between just another day at work and one that ends in tragedy.
7. Practice Good Ergonomics
Besides learning how to lift heavy objects in a safe way, you should also understand how to sit correctly while you’re at work or at a desk. Improper posture can cause awful problems like neck and back pain later down the line.
Make sure your computer is at eye-level and that you’re using a mousepad with good wrist support. Sit up straight with your shoulders back and try your best to avoid slumping or hunching over since this can cause back and neck pain that may be permanent over time.
Use an ergonomic desk and chair if you can. These products are specially designed to support your body while seated and can offer you the help you need to keep your posture in check. Improper posture at work is one of the leading causes of injury and pain, so it’s not something you should take lightly.
8. Have a Fire Escape Plan in Place
Your employer should already have a fire exit plan in place in case something were to go wrong at work. Make sure that you’re aware of where all the fire exits are located and ask if there’s a special procedure that needs to be followed in the event of a fire.
Check all fire exits and make sure that there’s nothing blocking these areas. If you’re concerned about fire safety at work, find out if there has been an inspection of smoke alarms and sprinkler systems so you feel secure if something goes wrong.
All fire exit routes should be posted prominently in your workplace. If they aren’t, make sure you find out what they are and ask if they can be displayed so that you and your coworkers can see them.
9. Know Your First Aid
One way to ensure a safe workplace is to know how to perform various forms of first aid. If you aren’t currently trained in CPR, consider taking some classes and you might just save a life someday.
Look for your company’s first aid kit and make sure it’s fully stocked with everything you need. Understand how to do things like apply pressure to wounds, use bandages, and treat burns.
You should also learn how to clean your eyes in case they are exposed to chemicals. All of these simple first-aid practices can be extremely helpful for yourself as well as your fellow coworkers. You can also ask about company-wide first aid training so that everyone knows how to administer aid to those who need it in the event of an emergency.
Make Work a Safe Place to Be
With these simple safety tips for work, you can be sure that you’re enjoying a workplace that has your best interests in mind. From standing up periodically to using protective gear, each thing you can do to be proactive will help keep you safe.
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