These free workplace safety tips are a simple, easy, and extremely effective way to keep yourself and other staff members safe during the course of the day. Like all great safety tips, they are easy to implement and very simple to remember.
Practical Workplace Safety Tips
The most recent statistics by OSHA report that 4690 workers were killed on the job in 2010 alone. 18% of those deaths occurred in the construction trades, with OSHA predicting that 437 of the 774 deaths in construction that year could have been prevented by keeping workplace safety tips in mind on the job. No matter what industry you work in, applying safety tips can prevent accidents.
Tips for Avoiding Slips and Falls
Falls are the leading cause of injury in the workplace. Keep these tips in mind to avoid an injury:
- As you walk, keep an eye on the floor in front of you for spills.
- If you see a spill, never just walk by it. Always clean it up or call someone to clean it up.
- Wear nonskid shoes when you work in kitchens, outdoors, or any other place where you will commonly be walking on slippery surfaces.
- Never climb on shelving units or storage units to get things. Use only approved ladders.
- Never lean on railings, even if they look solid. They could be improperly secured, and you could fall.
- Always use safety harnesses when working at heights.
Tips for Lifting Properly
You may work with patients who need help getting around or at a factory where you're lifting boxes on a continual basis. No matter who or what you may be lifting, there are some key points to consider:
- If you are approaching a box and don't know what's in it, try moving it a little with your foot first to see how easily it moves. This will help you gauge how heavy the box is.
- Always wear nonskid shoes when you are lifting often or lifting potentially heavy objects.
- Never bend at the waist and lift the box up with your back. Keep your upper body straight and parallel with your lower legs. Grab the item and push up with your legs, not with your back.
- Never jerk your body around when lifting. You may feel fine after doing this once, but repeated occurrences can easily lead to injury in even the healthiest workers.
Fire Safety Tips
Some jobs carry an increased risk of fire, but understanding fire safety is important for any occupation. Keep these tips in mind:
- Have a fire plan in place for your worksite, and make sure your employees understand it fully. Having a fire drill every now and then is a good way for employees to keep escape routes, meeting spots, and procedures in mind.
- Avoid the use of so-called "power strips" whenever possible. They are often prone to overuse and can start a fire if too many appliances are plugged into them.
- Keep cleaning chemicals and other work chemicals in a well-ventilated room. Many chemicals emit vapors that are highly flammable and which can be set off with something as small as a spark from a faulty wire.
- Know where all the fire extinguishers are throughout your worksite and know how to use them.
- Remember that grease fires cannot be fought by dousing them with water. Oil is hydrophobic and also is the fuel source in grease fires. Water will simply splash the oil around and spread the fire even further.
Planning for a Safe Workplace
Falls, lifting injuries, and fires are dangerous and common in the workplace, but that's just the beginning. There are many possible safety issues that can occur at your office or factory. Sometimes the best workplace safety arises out of simple good planning and smart thinking.
Every single workplace should have a safety committee and safety plan in place. If you don't have safety committees at your workplace, then propose one. If you work at home, you are the safety committee. Working at home or for a very small business isn't a reason to get out of safety planning.
If you don't have a safety plan in place yet, follow these steps when you recognize a workplace safety issue:
- Make sure that everyone else in your workplace is aware of the problem.
- Notify your supervisor.
- File any reports or documents about the problem.
- Follow up. Telling someone there's a problem is not a guarantee that the problem will be resolved satisfactorily. Report it and later follow up to make sure the problem was addressed.
The most trusted resource in the world when it comes to workplace safety is the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, or OSHA. The OSHA website is loaded with facts and figures about workplace safety that will educate you on the hazards and ways to avoid them.
The OSHA tips focus primarily on work safety tips. However, there are several other important workplace safety tips that can protect you from illegal activity by either coworkers or criminals in your job's neighborhood. The National Crime Prevention Council has a number of great tips that can help keep you safe from crime on the job.
The people at NonProfitRisk.org have put together a handy sample of workplace safety tips and guidelines that you can post on the job.
Putting It All Together
In the end, workplace safety is the responsibility of everyone at your job. Everyone has a part to play in keeping the workplace safe and free from unnecessary dangers and risks. By keeping these tips in mind and sharing them with others, you will be doing your part in keeping injuries, and possibly deaths, from happening on the job.