Staying Safe at Work

By Marie | January 7, 2013

Worker SafetyStaying safe at work means different things to different workers. For construction workers, safety is mostly about prevention of falls and other injuries, especially injuries caused by malfunctioning tools or other construction equipment. In an office, the safety concerns are likely to be about getting out of a high-rise during a fire or violence prevention and protection measures in use by the company. No matter where work is, there are fundamentals that apply to every job.

Never Take Shortcuts With Safety

Shortcuts are the number one cause of accidents and even exposure to becoming a victim of violence in the workplace. Familiarity and routine builds a false confidence, minimizing actual risk. Workers climbing a ladder the first time are timid and practice all the trained safety protocols. After a few weeks on the job, climbing ladders is second nature, making it easy to take a shortcut in safety that can lead to a fall. An office worker may refuse to park on the street when working late in a new city. After a few months of working without incident, instinct to practice certain safety measures may be overridden, leading to harm.

Pay Attention to Safety Training

Companies that must meet OSHA guidelines for safety may be required to provide annual safety training. Pay attention in class. New safety guidelines are often issued. Safety gear is also changed as time goes on. Not knowing how to use certain gear or not following updated guidelines can lead to injury.

Fire drills are also a part of safety training. If a company does not have regular fire safety drills, it is important to inquire about why they are not in place. Take the opportunity of a fire drill to think of three ways out each time there is a drill. Look for fire safety equipment such as rubber fire hoses, fire extinguishers and fire blankets. Know where the closest evacuation stairwell is at for every moment spent in the building.

Refuse Unsafe Practices and Methods

Managers and supervisors come in all kinds of personalities. Some are very lackadaisical about safety while others are sticklers. If a superior at work orders something to be done in an unsafe manner, it is up to the employees to use good sense and refuse. It is frighteningly common to learn that a company has strict safety procedures and safety gear requirements only to find out that the procedures are not followed or there is no safety gear available. Coworkers who are out of sight of management may recommend shortcuts in safety. Never agree to a shortcut in procedures or safety gear. Speak up and demand that procedures are followed and safety gear be made available.

At the end of the day, it is the individual worker that must take responsibility for safety. Never let a manager, coworker or client encourage or insist that an unsafe method be used to carry out a job task. Granted, there are dangerous jobs. They also have the highest level of safety protocols, training requirements and safety gear. Usually, it is the common tasks that do not seem that dangerous that lead to serious worker injury or death. Never let a person, policy, procedure or lack of safety gear be a reason to put life and limb at risk on the job. Make it a personal policy to get home safe from work every day.

About the Author:

This article was written and provided to NEB Info by one of our writing partners Nisha Sharma. Nisha represents a site called She enjoys writing about home and workplace safety.

To learn more about guest posting for us, please visit our Guest Blogging page.

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