How Safe Is Your Work Environment?
It is important to establish a safe and healthy work environment, and that entails the cooperation of both employer and employee. To create this safe work environment, however, you must first understand what constitutes a safe work environment and what to do if you come across health and safety issues.
What is a Safe Work Environment?
As an employer or an employee alike, there must be a fair amount of shared responsibility when it comes to creating and maintaining a safe work environment and to do this; you must be informed and aware of what is going on around you.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
While at work, make sure you take a look around at your surroundings, so you can pinpoint any potential hazards that may be present and can cause injury or harm. Once you are able to recognize these potential risks, you will be able to stay clear of them and steps can be taken to remedy any unsafe conditions.
Training and Knowledge
If you work with machinery or other tools, it is important to know how to properly use all the equipment and follow through. Never take any short cuts to save time if it means you must deviate from the intended use of the machine, tool, or equipment.
Are all employees up to date on the training required to run the machines? Are you aware of how to properly use a ladder to help avoid workplace injury? It is also advised to inspect all equipment and tools prior to use each day to ensure they are in proper working condition. If you notice anything that seems broken or any other kind of unsafe condition, report it to the supervisor immediately so that it can be remedied to avoid any workplace injury or accident.
Wear the Proper Gear
Finally, is everyone wearing the proper and appropriate gear that the job requires? For example, on a construction site, you will probably have to wear a hard hat and steel toe boots. Do you need to wear a harness or safety vest? Closed-toe shoes? Following the dress code and utilizing the proper attire can go a long way in preventing workplace injury as well.
Leadership and Employee Participation
The biggest key to success when developing a safer workplace environment is to have complete leadership and employee participation. For any safety plan or course of action to be effective, both parties need to be willing to work together to help address any workplace hazards and unsafe conditions.
Always encourage all employees to report unsafe or hazardous conditions, be aware of any potential hazards, have an adequate system in place to report these hazards, and a clear plan of what to do if any injury is sustained.
If you are injured on the job, immediately notify a supervisor and then seek medical attention for any injuries you may have sustained. Reporting requirements may vary, but any and all workplace injuries need to be reported in a state-mandated time frame, or you may not be able to seek compensation through a workers’ compensation claim.