In 2017, 2.8 million injuries occurred at work. Worker’s comp insurance carriers paid out more than $45 million in claims.
Now you know why your boss makes such a big deal about safety in the workplace! But the responsibility of workplace safety shouldn’t only fall on your employer’s shoulders.
You have a responsibility to ensure your own safety, too. Here are five ways that you can improve your own workplace safety.
1. Stay on Top of Training
Most companies provide training materials for their employees. How often have you ever looked at them though?
Sure, you watched a video when you were first hired, but have you revisited it since? Depending on how long you’ve worked for your company, they may have updated the information. Why not take a look and see if they’ve added anything new?
Knowing all the risks of working in your specific environment is important too. When it comes to safety in the workplace, knowing really is half the battle. Once you know what the risks are, you’re able to make sure your following proper protocol.
You’ll also show your boss you’re willing to learn and take responsibility, which makes you more valuable as an employee.
2. Use Tools and Equipment Properly
Part of following proper protocol is using tools, machinery, and equipment the right way. Have you been properly trained on each piece of equipment you use?
If not, you may want to talk to your foreman or supervisor. If you’re able to get certified on a forklift through proper training, you could even make more money!
3. Wear Personal Protective Equipment
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is more than wearing hardhats. You also should wear goggles when you’re working around materials that can get into your eyes.
Gloves are often overlooked but can protect you from cuts and burns. Ear protection protects you from the loud roaring of the machinery. Steel-toed boots offer protection from heavy materials dropping on your feet.
If you work in high-risk industries, consider wearing fire resistant clothing. This would be construction, electrical, utilities, and more. You can find some examples of fire-resistant clothing at FR Outlet.
4. Take Care of Your Body
Overexertion is the No. 1 work-related injury. It usually results in back pain. Make sure you reduce your risk of injury by lifting with your legs — not your back.
If you sit for long periods of time, be sure to have good posture. It’s also important to take short breaks and stretch your muscles. This also keeps you fresh mentally, which can lower your risk of injury due to drowsiness.
5. Know Emergency Procedures
Every workplace has an emergency plan mapped out and posted somewhere where everyone has access to it. Find your work’s plan and memorize where all the emergency exits are.
You should also know where the first aid kit(s) is at. Look inside and familiarize yourself with all the supplies.
If you get injured on the job, make sure you notify a supervisor. It’s important that you get any medical treatment.
Sometimes, you may get injured but not feel it for a day or two. Your employer needs a record of the incident for your worker’s comp claim.
Ensure Your Safety in the Workplace
It’s not enough to know the steps to ensure your safety in the workplace. You have to put them into practice.
These five steps may take a little bit of getting used to, but they’ll soon become second nature.
Remember, accidents don’t only happen at work. They can happen in your home, at the grocery store, or even the gym. Check out this post on nine ways to avoid workout injuries.