Workplace accidents can be devastating, but the good news is that they’re often preventable. While employers have a legal responsibility to provide a safe working environment for employees, ultimately a safe workplace is everyone’s responsibility.
You want to protect yourself and your family from accidents that could lay you up and stop your regular flow of income. The best income protection insurance will give you peace of mind if something does happen, but you should also follow these important tips to prevent accidents from happening in the first place:
Understand the risks
Your employer should provide training that shows you all the hazards that come with your job. It’s your responsibility to fully understand these instructions and ask questions if you don’t. If you know where the danger is coming from, you’ll be better prepared to avoid it.
Always wear the right gear
If your workplace requires special equipment to do a task, always wear it, even if it seems unnecessary or uncomfortable. Wearing the appropriate earplugs, gloves, mask, or hard hat could quite literally save your life.
Always work sober
Alcohol and drugs are involved in about 20 percent of workplace injuries and 10 percent of workplace fatalities. Never come to work if you’re under the influence of either, and if you suspect someone else isn’t sober enough to work, say something right away.
Don’t underestimate little things
Your “safe” office environment actually has the potential to cause you serious injury. Carpal tunnel and other repetitive stress injuries, especially to the back, can become so bad they require surgery and can easily keep you from working. Take breaks, move around, and reduce your workplace stress to protect yourself.
Watch for slip and fall accidents
Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere, from the office break room to the warehouse floor. Always keep your eyes on where you’re walking and never pass by a spill without cleaning it up or alerting someone. Always follow proper procedure about reaching things in high storage areas.
Safeguard against fire
Your workplace has a fire plan, so make sure you’re familiar with exactly what to do in the case of a fire emergency. Keep an eye on power strips so they don’t get overloaded with too many appliances and always keep chemicals away from the main working area.
Use mechanical help whenever its available
It might be perfectly possible for you to carry that heavy box by yourself, but there’s no reason to do so when there are wheelbarrows, forklifts, or other mechanical aids to help you do your job. Use the aids you have to avoid taking chances and keep yourself and others safe.
Stay fresh and alert
Many workplace accidents happen because people get tired or drop their concentration. If you’re not getting enough sleep at night, you’re putting yourself and others in danger. In the workplace, be sure to take regular breaks and do something completely different for a few moments to reset your ability to concentrate.
If you have concerns about how your workplace is being run, or if you see something that could be a safety hazard, don’t stay silent. Be sure your employer knows about any risk you see, and if nothing gets done, talk to human resources about your concerns.
Know your rights
Sometimes people don’t speak up because they think they’ll be let go if they do. But your employer has a legal obligation to make your workplace safe, and there are government resources available to help you understand your rights and how to make the most of them.
We’re all responsible for workplace safety, and when we all work together, our workplaces are safer places. Yet accidents can still happen, so find affordable income protection insurance at iSelect.