Keep Your Workplace Safe in 6 Easy Ways

The work environment pertains to the place of employment. It is the actual site where employees do what they are hired to do. This, including the surrounding location, must adhere to the standards of workplace safety as enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). No matter the environment, whether you have an office desk job or on the field, doing physical labor, workplace safety should be a priority for any employer worth their salt.

While the written safety standards are clear and concise, there are working environments that have gray areas in between. This is why companies have come up with their respective versions of the best-practice guidelines and policies. Both the employer and the employee are responsible for workplace safety, but each has different roles, so as an employee, here are some ways to keep your workplace safe.

Take Breaks

This is especially important if your job consists of doing physically taxing labor like construction work or warehousing. Work-related injuries often happen among workers who are too tired to stay aware of their surroundings or those who cut corners around safety because they are too burned out to care. It is not good to overwork yourself, so take breaks as needed to replenish your concentration to power through the workday.

It helps to do the tasks that require a lot of concentration at the start of the day or whenever you feel the most alert. Another takeaway is to not work when you are afflicted by something contagious, like flu, because you may transmit your virus to your coworkers. Not only will you get them sick, but your performance as a whole team will suffer as well when all of you need to stay home to recover from the illness.

Do Not Go to Work Inebriated/under the Influence

Your performance suffers when you are too smashed to do your tasks for the day. The same is said for when you do recreational drugs. There is a place and time for everything but not during your work or during days when you have to work.

Different substances have their respective effects, but it is obvious to anyone that you shouldn’t be operating heavy machinery if you’re inebriated or under the influence. When your coordination, motor control, and alertness are compromised, it can lead to possible injury and even fatalities.

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying those things in your free time, but depending on what work you do, your employers may be conducting scheduled drug tests. Fortunately, there are drug-test cleansing drinks you can take to help minimize your toxin levels in as fast as 60 minutes and can last up to 5 hours. This, in conjunction with other ways can help you pass the drug test.

Always Wear the Proper Safety Equipment

If you have to wear protective gear, chances are, you’re working a job that requires physical labor. There’s a reason using proper safety equipment is enforced: it keeps you safe from getting injured or, at the very least, reduce the chances. While it is the employer’s initiative to provide proper safety gear and educate about injury statistics, it is the employee’s responsibility to follow the rules and regulations.

Maintain Cleanliness

Keeping your workstation is important as well. An unclean environment can pose a health and safety risk. This is especially true for jobs that require fire, like metalworking. When you don’t clear your area of trash and rubbish, those can easily catch fire.

Another example is rodent and pest infestation. Some pests are carriers of dangerous diseases, and this can cause an outbreak especially if not tended as early as possible. Employees should also clean up after themselves after eating any meal as food packages or leftover food can invite rats, insects, and other animals.

Express Concerns to the Higher-Ups

If you see something that is out of line (e.g., errant employees, state of working conditions, broken equipment), then say something. Higher-ups are less likely to know what’s happening on the floor because they have administrative tasks to do.

This doesn’t mean they should not be open to criticism, concerns, or suggestions. In fact, they should be more open to what areas need improvement in order to create a safe and pleasant working environment. Furthermore, employers are legally obligated to make sure that the workplace is safe from any harmful elements.

Use Tools and Machines Properly

There’s a reason tools and equipment should be used the right way—there’s lesser risk of injury. Workplace injury is common among workers who cut corners when using tools and machines. For example, use a proper ladder when trying to get tools or equipment from a high shelf. Do not climb on an empty crate even if it means you get the task done faster because it is nearer.

Cooperate with Efforts

Employers do what they can to enforce workplace safety. Encouragement and education go hand in hand when it comes to encouraging employees to do the efforts needed to follow the rules and regulations. A safety checklist, regular inspections and maintenance, and the cooperation of all workers are vital in keeping the workplace safe.

Do you have workplace safety tips you want to share? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Adam Torkildson