“Acci­dents at the work­place.  Sev­er­al are injured.  The health and safe­ty board will be inves­ti­gat­ing the cause.”

We hear these words on a year round basis yet acci­dents and injuries at the work­place con­tin­ue to occur.  Work­place safe­ty is an impor­tant issue in the work­place as it can deter­mine how long an employ­ee stays, how long a busi­ness oper­ates or even how many peo­ple wish to work at an orga­ni­za­tion.  All work­place acci­dents and injuries are pre­ventable and it is the respon­si­bil­i­ty of the com­pa­ny as well as the employ­ees to make sure that these acci­dents do not occur.  Here are five tips to help improve safe­ty in the work­place. Be Aware of Your Sur­round­ings This means get­ting to know where you’ll be work­ing.  Whether you’re work­ing in a lab, office, school or con­struc­tion site, get to know your sur­round­ings.  Observe where the work sta­tions are, see where the fire exits are locat­ed and look for any poten­tial haz­ards.  Don’t for­get to check for the air qual­i­ty too.  You don’t want to be work­ing in a stuffy, hard to breathe envi­ron­ment as it could be detri­men­tal to your health.  Also, under­stand the risks of the job and the pro­ce­dures to fol­low if injuries are incurred.  While at work, stay clear of any and all haz­ards and don’t be afraid to ask ques­tions to your employ­er and oth­er employ­ees about safe­ty on the job. Report Unsafe Con­di­tions As an employ­er, com­pa­nies are legal­ly oblig­at­ed to pro­vide a safe envi­ron­ment to all their employ­ees.  As an employ­ee, report any unsafe work­ing con­di­tions or haz­ards with­in the com­pa­ny imme­di­ate­ly to a super­vi­sor, man­ag­er or any fig­ure of author­i­ty.  Inform your supe­ri­ors  of how long they’ve been occur­ring and if pos­si­ble, how they start­ed.  Also, don’t be afraid to report any dif­fi­cul­ties you face in per­form­ing your job.  You should­n’t have to face obsta­cles when doing your job and the com­pa­ny should make every effort to make sure that noth­ing impedes you from per­form­ing your work. Take Breaks Every­one needs a break to refu­el and recharge.  Reg­u­lar breaks through­out the day pre­vents employ­ee burnout and keeps them fresh on the job.  It also helps to pre­vent work place relat­ed ill­ness­es and injuries from occur­ring as being well rest­ed makes you ful­ly aware of your sur­round­ings, allow­ing you to react much quick­er if an inci­dent does occur. Healthy and Safe = Moti­va­tion A healthy and safe work­place is a key fac­tor in employ­ee moti­va­tion.  A clean and healthy work­place allows the employ­ee to focus on doing their best work while a safe envi­ron­ment allows the employ­ees to go about their jobs with­out hav­ing to fear their safe­ty.  Over­all, it improves the func­tion and pro­duc­tiv­i­ty of an orga­ni­za­tion as all employ­ees are com­mit­ted and focused on their work instead of the dan­gers that may lurk. Know The Rules Anoth­er fac­tor that con­tributes to the cause of work­place relat­ed injuries and acci­dents is the incom­plete knowl­edge of on the job rules and reg­u­la­tions.  We have the stan­dard work­place safe­ty rules (ex. WHMIS), the rules of the depart­ment and the over­all cor­po­rate rules and guide­lines.  Know­ing these rules and under­stand­ing them is the first step in pre­vent­ing work­place injuries.  As much as it is the cor­po­ra­tion’s respon­si­bil­i­ty to edu­cate its employ­ees on these rules, it is also our own respon­si­bil­i­ty to learn and under­stand them.  Once equipped with this knowl­edge, employ­ees are much bet­ter off in deal­ing with the day to day activ­i­ties of the work­place and are bet­ter pre­pared if an acci­dent does occur. Work should be reward­ing, not painful.  Make work­place safe­ty a full time job instead of a part time prac­tice to make sure you don’t end up on the injury list.

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Allan Baum
Security Industry veteran with over 30+ years in the industry. Founded family owned and operated Protection Plus in 1994 with his wife and has overseen its growth since. In addition to working with his wife and son, Allan has assigned the role of Chief Canine Officer to his trusted dog Waub, who joins him at the office every day.