When you start a new job, you’re often trained on workplace safety and how to perform your job safely and efficiently. While some of us may have watched these videos or listened to these lectures for what seems to be a hundred times, many people easily slip into poor safety habits that can ultimately put you or your co-workers at risk. Furthermore, some of the information in these safety training workshops, while crucial, may not cover other health hazards that you should be made aware of, and try to avoid.
1. If You Spill It – Clean It
One of the most common safety hazards often overlooked in factory settings or office breakrooms are spills. Whether its water or a toxic liquid spilled on the floor, it is important to clean up the mess as soon as possible to prevent yourself or others from slipping in the wet mess. Additionally, even a piece of paper on the floor could cause someone to slip and fall. Spill related work injuries can lead to many serious and non-serious health concerns, including sprained, bruised, or broken bones, which often lead to multiple days off work.
2. Sanitize, Sanitize, Sanitize
Whether you work in the food industry or not, it is important to keep your workstation as sanitized and germ-free as possible. This includes your hands. Keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your pocket or purse, along with a few tissues, in order to minimize the risk of spreading illnesses such as the cold and flu. Your co-workers will thank you.
3. Practice Proper Lifting Techniques
You were taught how to properly lift and move heavy objects in the safety video or lecture, but being lectured on this and actually practicing the technique are two very different things. It’s easy to fall into the bad habit of improper lifting. Save your back from unnecessary strain and discomfort by lifting objects with your legs instead of your back, and never twist from your hips to move heavy objects from left to right.
4. Wear Ear Protection
If you work in a very loud environment, simply using ear muffs or ear plugs will greatly reduce your risk of damaging your hearing. Work-related hearing loss is one of the most common hazards of people who work in factories and construction sites. Protect your ears from permanent damage by keeping the ear canal covered.
Most workplace hazards are avoidable, if everyone works together to ensure a safe, clean working environment. Sometimes, though, workers become lazy or inattentive to their working environment. This is often when workplace injuries happen. Pay attention to your surroundings, and make sure you are doing everything you can to maintain a safe work station.