You may not realize it, but no matter where you work there are always factors that could put your health and safety at risk. Though it is the responsibility of your employer to maintain a safe work environment, being aware of the obvious and less obvious factors that could put you in harm’s way is advised. Below is a look at some steps you can take to stay out of harm’s way at work.
Take Health and Safety Training
Most employers offer health and safety training to their employees as a means of reducing the potential of workplace injuries or hazards. While the lectures, quizzes, safety management systems software, and seminars may be lengthy and uninteresting, education is the key to prevention. Listen carefully, ask questions, and keep materials nearby for future reference.
Take Care of Your Health
You need a strong mind and body to get through each workday productively. This, however, is impossible to do for a long time when you’re eating junk from the vending machines, indulging in fast food during lunch, skipping meals, drinking tons of coffee and no water, and not doing much for physical activity. You increase your chances of becoming injured or sick when you practice these types of habits at work.
Take care of your body by eating a good breakfast, bringing healthy lunch options, eating healthy snacks, drinking plenty of water, and taking periodic breaks to stretch, walk, or exercise. You may even want to ask your employers to use an office snack delivery provider to get healthy snacks into the office.
Wear Safety Gear
If you work in a profession that deals with hazardous materials or heavy lifting, there is likely safety gear you’re required to wear to avoid getting sick or seriously injured. Miners or construction workers working in confined spaces for example need to wear a self-contained breathing apparatus as oxygen is risked and is therefore needed by law. Be sure that you wear your gear properly when operating equipment and wear high vis work wear. If the gear is outdated or damaged, talk to human resources or your supervisor to find out the protocol for getting new stuff.
Report Hazards Immediately
Though your employer does their best to ensure the work grounds are safe and healthy, accidents still happen. If you notice something is out of place or that could cause harm to you and others, report it right away. Nowadays employers benefit greatly from a health and safety management system so they don’t miss anything critical in reporting.
Keep Stress at Bay
Stress and work go together – to an extent. Meeting deadlines, appealing to clients, dealing with customers, and setbacks are common in any industry and can cause a person to become stressed. That being said, being under constant stress can have a negative impact on your health. You might notice signs like body aches, moodiness, slowed productivity, emotional overwhelm, weight problems, difficulty sleeping, and much more. Try as best you can to reduce unnecessary stress. Streamline processes, organize your office, utilize calendars, set up a filing system, delegate tasks, collaborate with your team, and even talk with your employer about stresses beyond your control like workload or a difficult client.
Take Health Precautions
Much like schools can be the foundation of a virus outbreaks, the workplace can also get you sick fairly easily if you’re not careful. Outside of eating right, exercising, and taking daily supplements, you should also take health precautions like washing your hands, wiping down your desk or workstation, using hand sanitizer, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and most importantly, calling out when you’re not well so you don’t spread your illness to others.
Get Help When Necessary
There are going to be instances where you are safe in the workplace and something still goes wrong. A box out of place in the middle of the office could cause you to trip and get hurt. The big convention you’re preparing for could cause a great deal of stress and cause you to end up burned out. Unfortunately, nothing is guaranteed. Yet, knowing when and how to get help is ideal for a fast recovery. Whether you need to talk to your employer, human resources, a workers compensation lawyer, mental health professional, or your doctor to resolve the matter, make your health a priority and seek the help you need.
You go to work just about every day for several hours at a time not realizing the many factors that put your health and safety at risk. Though this doesn’t mean that you should become paranoid or switch jobs, it does require you to develop habits and educate yourself so you can remain safe, healthy, and productive.