While safety policies, procedures and programs are required to be in place in every organization, knowing your role as an employee can play an important part in the safety of yourself and others. Safety awareness is the key to success in preventing injuries and illnesses. Here are suggestions on how to be safe in the workplace.
Review Company Safety Policies and Procedures
Whether you are a new or seasoned employee, make sure you always know company safety policies and procedures. These policies are set in place to ensure you are completely safe in your workplace. Employers, set up a safety program in which employees can be trained on the job and tested on the correct safety procedures to maximize success of employees following protocol. Employees, be an advocate for your company and encourage others in your organization to follow the procedures and guide those that may need more training.
Know Your Responsibilities
Read through all the materials given to you by your employer. Ensure you complete all required safety training courses and learn ways you can personally be an advocate for safety in the workplace. Bring potential hazardous conditions or unruly coworkers to your employer’s attention immediately.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Walk around your workplace. Always know where everything is placed, whether it is a chair or a piece of equipment. Ask your employer where the fire extinguishers, first aid kit, AED and other safety equipment are located in case of an emergency. If you or a coworker is injured on the job, make sure to report the incident immediately, so the proper actions can be taken. This can also bring attention to maintenance issues, overlooked areas of the workplace, or if more training needs to be made available so the accident or incident does not reoccur.
Knowing your outside surroundings is just as valuable. Avoid walking out of the building alone at night if possible. This can pose potential dangers if bad characters have been watching the habits of employees exiting the building. Walk out in groups of more than two when possible.
Your employer must also follow a set of guidelines in order to keep the workplace safe and hazard free for employees. According to OSHA, employers must follow these rules:
▪ Inform employees about hazards through training, labels, alarms, color-coded systems, chemical information sheets and other methods.
▪ Keep accurate records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
▪ Perform tests in the workplace, such as air or noise sampling required by some OSHA standards.
▪ Provide hearing exams or other medical tests required by OSHA standards.
▪ Post OSHA citations, injury and illness data and the OSHA poster in the workplace where workers will see them.
▪ Notify OSHA of all work-related fatalities within eight hours, and all work-related inpatient hospitalizations, all amputations and all losses of an eye within 24 hours. [Employers under federal OSHA’s jurisdiction were required to begin reporting by Jan. 1, 2015. Establishments in a state with a state-run OSHA program should contact their state plan for the implementation date].
▪ Not discriminate or retaliate against a worker for using their rights under the law.
These rules and guidelines are set in place to help protect employees and employers alike of potential dangers in the workplace. By following all the rules set in place by your employer, you can avoid the risk of injury on the job.
Want to elevate safety procedures in your workplace? Visit the National Safety Council website for free safety measurement tools and resources.