Safety in the workplace begins with established guidelines and set codes of practice. You can’t just rely on this information, though. You also need effective communication between the individual ranks, and in addition, you have to put your business in a strong position to eliminate unsafe patterns of behaviour at work, which could result in accidents or injuries.
With that in mind, here are a few health and safety tips we recommend you follow in the workplace to create a safer environment.
Be aware of job hazards
How much do you fully understand your role? Have you received the right level of training for the requirements of the job? Each individual position at work has its own set of risks which should be addressed through the correct level of training. Whether you drive a forklift truck or handle chemicals as part of your daily duties, you need to understand the role fully, be aware of the risks involved, and receive the correct level of training to enable you to perform your duties safely.
Review working conditions
Constantly evaluate workplace conditions to ensure you remain out of harm’s way. If you feel uncomfortable working in certain conditions or feel that some aspect of the role isn’t safe, don’t be afraid to report this to people in positions of responsibility. Supervisors and anyone in charge of worker welfare have a legal responsibility to create safe working environments.
Check emergency exits
Always keep emergency exits clear in case there is a fire. Should the unthinkable happen, staff members need swift, clear exit routes so they can depart the building without being hindered. Nothing should be placed in front of fire exits. There’s no excuse and under no circumstances should stock, equipment or machinery be placed in front of emergency exit routes.
Think carefully about posture
Spend long periods of the day sitting at a desk and it’s important you consider how you are sitting and whether you are maintaining the right posture or not. Ideally the screen monitor should be level with your eyes and your feet should be placed flat to the floor. The keyboard should be at arm’s length and your shoulders should be in-line with your hips. Take extreme care lifting objects at work too. Training in manual handling will be of great benefit if you are not sure how to do this.
Use safety equipment
If you are completing specific tasks that require the use of safety equipment, make sure you use it. Items like hard hats, safety goggles, steel toecap boots and protective gloves can safeguard against serious injuries. Examples of safety equipment usage include ear defenders in noisy environments or facemasks in settings where dangerous and potentially harmful materials might be breathed in.
Take a break if you feel fatigued
Make use of all available breaks that are open to you at work. Workplace incidents are often caused due to excessive tiredness so stay alert and active on the job. Getting enough sleep before you start work will help you arrive nice and refreshed. Most people find they are most productive in the morning and their concentration levels drop during the afternoon. Be mindful of this, and if you feel especially jaded at any point, grab a quick coffee break or get some fresh air.
Use the right tools for the job
Never use a makeshift tool that isn’t intended for the job in question. For example, don’t stand on a chair if you are trying to change a lightbulb, use a ladder that enables you to reach in safety and comfort without stretching. Using tools incorrectly, or operating the wrong type of tool for any specific task is a big cause of workplace accidents.
Health and Safety in the workplace starts with effective management and the right level of training. Install basic initiatives and it can make all the difference to the safety of workers and the function of the business. Should you require safety training in Ireland, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at Business Safety or simply call us on 0818 333 212.