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June is National Safety Month – How Safe is Your Workplace?

By June 11, 2019 August 3rd, 2019 No Comments

Hazards are everywhere.  However,  most of us have become accustomed to them, overlooking their existence without even realizing it.  Though you might not view your work or home environment as particularly ‘hazardous’, dangers are often there – with most being entirely avoidable! Read on to learn how to see hazards and create a safer home and work environment.

Learn to See Hazards at Work

Your workplace may have policies in place for major hazards, and you should know and understand these policies.  However, many hidden issues can still put you and your co-workers at risk.   Train yourself to spot hazards and you’ll begin to notice them all around you.  They may not always be obvious or immediate concerns, but they can still pose a risk to you and your coworkers. The sooner they’re fixed, the better.

Spotting hazards is all about anticipation. Start to ask yourself, ‘If I take this action, what might happen?’ This applies to everything from working with dangerous chemicals and manufacturing machines to simply walking through your worksite.  For example, picture yourself walking around a corner with your hands full. Now ask yourself, ‘What might happen as I turn this corner’?  Answering the question will expose risks, such as someone else turning the opposite corner at the same time as you.  Armed with this knowledge, you can then take simple steps – like taking a wider turn – and completely avoid the risk.

Of course, plenty of hazards will be much more serious than this, but utilizing this way of thinking can help you spot and avoid them.   And be sure to speak up in order to keep your coworkers safe!

Other Things to Consider

  • Lighting A burnt-out bulb can keep hazards in the shadows. Even if you’re not the one to fix it, report this hazard right away.
  • Temperature Plan ahead and dress appropriately for the temperatures you’ll experience on the job. Watch out for other possible hazards caused by temperature, like early morning dew on concrete.
  • Air quality Similar to temperature, make sure exhaust fans are running
  • Overexertion This is the number one cause of work-related injury.  Report stress or strain on your body from heavy lifting or repetitive motions and talk to your supervisor to be sure you are performing these actions safely.

See Hazards at Home

Ask yourself, what are the items in my home that I think are harmless but could pose a hazard in the wrong hands? Prescription opioids, cleaning supplies and other potentially harmful substances should be stored up and away and out of sight from children and pets. Rugs should be secured, and your walkways should be free of clutter. If you see an issue, clean it up or fix it right away to keep your loved ones safe.

For more tips on learning to see safety hazards, check out the latest visual literacy research from the Campbell Institute at thecampbellinstitute.org/research.

From dangerous falls, fires to hazardous mold, we are here to help advocate for a healthy work environment for our friends and clients.

References 

According to Injury Facts https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/work/work-overview/top-work-related-injury-causes/

Tips provided by the National Safety Council https://www.nsc.org/

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