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Top Ten Workplace Safety Tips

Stay safe at work

Working in an industrial environment can be an incredibly rewarding and exciting experience.  It can also be incredibly dangerous if you are not following the proper safety precautions.  As recently as 2012, nearly $50 billion was spent on worker compensation because of workplace accidents. Many of these accidents could have been avoided by following these workplace safety tips.

1) Reduce Workplace Stress

Workplace stress can include long work hours, heavy workloads, conflict with coworkers, and/or improper or dangerous working conditions.  These types of issues can lead to distraction or rushing.  If you are experiencing any of these issues, it is best to talk to your manager.

2) Use Tools and Machines Properly

Improper use of tools and machines can mean a number of different things including: using the wrong tool for a task, not knowing how to properly use a machine, or using heavy machinery and tools without the proper training.  Before you use any type of machine or tool at work, make sure that you have received the proper procedure and safety trainings. If you don’t know how to use something or are not comfortable, don’t use it!

3) Use Mechanical Aids When Possible

The number one cause of workplace injury is overexertion.  Injuries to the back, neck, limbs, or spine can be serious. The use of mechanical aids, including forklifts, handcarts, or lift tables, when lifting, pulling, or carrying can reduce these injuries.  

4) Wear Protective Equipment

Personal protective equipment or PPE is vital to staying safe at work. Gloves, hard hats, goggles, ear protection, and body protection can prevent serious injury in most environments. Necessary PPE varies from job to job but should protect from physical, electrical, heat, chemicals, biohazards, and airborne material hazards.

5) Stay Sober

Alcohol and drugs account for over 3% of all workplace injuries and fatalities.  These substances can reduce the ability to exercise the proper judgement, decrease concentration, and reduce motor skills.

6) Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Knowing all the hazards in your workplace is important to staying safe.  You need to be on the lookout for any potentially dangerous situations or moving machinery.  Even if the area seems clear, you need to constantly scan as hazards can occur at any time.

7) Correct Posture Protects Your Back

Bad posture when sitting or lifting can cause overexertion, sprains, strains, muscle tears, and dislocations to your back and hips. While bad posture seems like a minor thing it is a contributing factor in a majority of workplace injuries.

8) Be Alert and Awake

Being properly rested reduces the likelihood of accidents, improves concentration, and fine motor skills.  Being exhausted on the job causes sloppiness which can injury both you and your coworkers.

9) Follow Correct Procedures, Don’t Take Shortcuts

Shortcuts might seem like a good idea in order to save time, but not following the proper procedures increases the likelihood that you will do something incorrectly.  Performing a task incorrectly can lead to injuries immediately or in the future and can cost your company time and money.

10) Take Regular Breaks

Taking breaks helps to keep you alert and focused.  Long periods of time without proper breaks increase the chance of accidents and decreases alertness and concentration.  It can also reduce productivity.  If you are not receiving regular breaks, talk to your manager.

To download the full presentation of top safety tips, click here.