An Employee’s Guide to Workplace Safety – 5 Tips to Know

A safe workplace is a productive and motivating space. If the work environment is in any way harmful or dangerous, employees have no incentive to perform well or advance professionally. If a company doesn’t take proper care of its employees by providing a healthy and safe work environment, there are little to no chances that the staff will want to work to their fullest potential. Not to mention, it is a requirement that employers must ensure a hazard-free workplace and adhere to OSHA rules, regulations, and health codes in place. Failing to do so can have major consequences, given that employees’ lives are put in danger. 

Having said this, as much as one adheres to health and safety regulations, some accidents may still happen. The key is to be prepared if that happens. So, as an employee, it is crucial to learn the possible hazards of your work environment. Apart from this, you may want to get acquainted with the safety practices necessary so that you can identify any potential vulnerabilities as well as know what your duties of maintaining a safe work environment are. 

Regardless of the type of work you do and whether you have to operate heavy machinery, work outside or in an office, at a desk, there still are various possible dangers around you. Indeed, the chances of anything happening aren’t too high in a workplace where health and safety measures are taken seriously. Nevertheless, it is recommended employees are aware of both the dangers and the safety guidelines at their workplace to further reduce the risks of accidents and strengthen procedures. 

The following guide to workplace safety provides helpful tips every employee should know, regardless of the type of work they do. Knowing this will ensure both theirs and their colleagues’ safety.

  • Only Use the Work-Supplied Safety Equipment

It almost goes without saying that all employees must only use the safety and protective equipment supplied by their employer. It is crucial to mention this as some employees may choose not to wear a hard hat, for example, or they simply forget to, if it seems unimportant. But any personal protective equipment or PPE should be worn at all times in environments that require it. 

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As an employee, you shouldn’t bring personal safety gear, as it may not be updated to the latest standards. So, when it comes to using specific machinery or doing possibly dangerous tasks in a lab, for instance, it is crucial to wear the protective gear provided by the company you work for. If PPE is not provided, it is of the utmost importance to report this immediately.

  • Follow All the Health and Safety Procedures

Regardless of the type of work they do and the industry on which they focus, employees must follow all the health and safety procedures in place. By doing this, their safety is maintained, and they will be able to perform to their fullest potential. In a company where everyone takes this seriously, accidents are significantly lower. 

As important as it is for companies to adhere to health and safety regulations and their employees to follow them rigorously, it is also vital to speak up if you see something dangerous. This means that as an employee, it is necessary to point out any vulnerabilities or hazardous spots that may lead to accidents. Managers may not see all the weak spots in the implemented health and safety plan. This is why you need to report them as soon as you identify them.

  • Speak With a Supervisor About Safety Policies

Indeed, it is the company’s responsibility to adhere to health and safety procedures and make sure they are implemented at all times. However, as mentioned above, employees are the ones who work on a day-to-day basis in the environment and can witness any possible hazards. So, you should speak with your supervisor about any safety policies that aren’t implemented well or are outdated, and report any unsafe conditions, if it’s the case. 

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Because your employer is responsible for ensuring a safe workplace environment, you are entitled to claim compensation for personal injury if an accident happens on the premises. According to experts from Personal Injury Claims UK, if a workplace accident or any incident that harms an employee or puts their lives at risk happens to no fault of their own, the employee has the right to file a work claim. This will offer compensation to cover any financial losses and support you during a period of physical damage and psychological distress. If this happens to you, some steps need to be followed, including reporting the accident to a supervisor or HR department.

  • Keep Your Workspace Clutter-Free

Whether your workstation is in an office, lab, factory, or construction site, it is crucial you keep it clutter-free at all times. Unnecessary items on or around the workplace could create additional and unnecessary hazards that can be easily avoided by keeping such an area neat and tidy. This will ensure your safety as well as your co-workers’, as you could trip or fall on unattended objects or messy wires.

Workplace accidents such as slips, trips, and falls, are among the most common ones. So, it is vital to do everything necessary to avoid creating a hazard that could lead to this type of accident. In addition to keeping everyone free from danger, a clutter-free workspace can also improve productivity and job satisfaction. A messy workstation can alter your motivation.

  • Take Breaks When Feeling Exhausted

Not prioritizing taking a break at work can be extremely harmful to an employee. During busy times, people tend to overwork themselves in an effort of finishing their tasks faster and being able to meet deadlines. However, if you don’t take the time to stop for a minute and take a break, the risks of developing chronic stress, burnout, and even trouble sleeping are higher. 

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Busy periods or not, taking regular breaks is vital for your physical and mental health. Otherwise, you risk developing eye strain and getting more and more exhausted, which won’t help you perform better. Therefore, in order to maintain a safe work environment, you should take a break every once in a while.