Whether you are an essential employee or working remotely, employees of all sectors should never overlook workplace safety. Each profession presents its unique safety challenges and companies have the responsibility to address those issues. However, it is up to employees to ensure they are following proper safety procedures and implement certain habits that will reduce the risk of a serious injury.
Understand the Possible Safety Issues
For those who work in an office environment, things like muscle injuries, tendentious or carpal tunnel are among some of the possible injuries they may face. Defective safety equipment, slip and fall accidents, moving objects, and toxins are some of the possible risk workers in the construction and/or manufacturing sector face. Healthcare workers also face a wide range of safety risks including exposure to disease, back injuries, and even stress.
Once workers have a good understanding of the possible risks they face, the better they will understand how to avoid injuries from these risks.
Take Regular Breaks
For some employees, breaks are mandated. However, for salary or contract workers, it is up to them to ensure they are taking these well-deserved breaks. Studies have shown that taking breaks during the workday can increase productivity, reduce stress, and decrease fatigue on the job. When employees are well-rested, they are more alert to possible workplace dangers and are less likely to make dangerous mistakes.
Watch Your Posture
Whether you are sitting down or lifting heavy items all day, keeping a correct posture is very important. If you are sitting down all day, make sure to sit up straight, have your feet resting flat on the floor, and keep your screen the same height as your gaze. If you are lifting things at work, keep your back straight and lift with your legs. Maintaining a good posture will decrease the chances of developing any injuries that can result from repetitive movements.
Know Your Rights and Responsibilities
Under the OSH Act, employees have the right to be safe in the workplace. “Employers must provide clear training and inform you of the possible workplace hazards employees can face,” says Ron Hilley, an injury attorney based in Atlanta. Additionally, employees can request copies of any tests done to measure workplace hazards.
While managers have the responsibility to ensure a safe workplace, workers have the responsibility to implement safety best practices. Failure to do so can lead to serious injury and affect any compensation you could receive.
Report Unsafe Workplace Practices
If there is a hazardous condition or someone is not following proper safety procedures, it is important to report that to your supervisor. If you feel not enough is being done to address the issue, employees have the right to make a confidential complaint with OSHA.