Whether you work in a high-risk job or relatively safe one, with hundreds of other colleagues or by yourself, everybody is at risk from potential incidents and hazards. Whilst you can’t wrap yourself in bubble wrap and accidents will always happen, there are precautions that you can take to help protect your personal safety in various circumstances.
Familiarise yourself with your workplace’s health and safety procedures.
From wearing the necessary safety gear, such as goggles and hi-viz jackets to knowing who you should call in the case of a bomb scare, knowledge is the key to keeping you safe! Most workplaces run through these during new staff members’ orientation and run refresher tests.
Check in with a buddy.
If you’re going to be out on the road or working a shift by yourself, having a buddy system where you can let somebody know that you are safe and they can raise an alarm on your behalf if you don’t check in can make you feel more safe and secure.
Download a personal safety application.
Nowadays, most of us have a smart phone for work and/or personal use and they are on our person at all times, making them the perfect portable personal safety device. Apps such as Lookout Call utilise latest technologies to keep an eye out for your safety and raise an alarm if you are in a precarious situation. They can act like a buddy for you if a buddy scheme is unviable.
Never work tired.
We all live hectic lives and if can be easy to become over-tired if you work long shifts, more than one job or during the night, but try to get enough rest when you aren’t at work. Exhaustion is not only bad for your health and weakens your immune system, leading to more days off work sick, it can also decrease your attention and focus, thus making you more likely to have an accident.
Let your immediate supervisor know of any issues.
If you work with machinery and you notice any faults, let your supervisor or manager aware of the fault and avoid using the equipment until it is fixed. This is especially important with heavy machinery, such as fork lift trucks.
Make your manager aware of any personal health problems.
You may already be in the habit of carrying an epi-pen for a severe allergy or insulin if you’re diabetic, but your manager and health and safety representative should be aware of any long or short term health issues you may have. It is also a good idea to ensure that somebody in your team, first-aider or not, knows how to assist you with your medication if there is an emergency and you are unable to administer it yourself.
If in doubt; ask!
We often have enough to remember with our jobs without all the health and safety procedures on top, but if you can’t remember or aren’t quite sure of the safest way to perform a task, ask a supervisor to talk through it with you.
Be aware of people around you.
Whether that’s colleagues or customers, people around you can cause accidents or create apprehensive situations, so be aware of who is around you and what they are doing. This information is also very useful if you have to give a witness account after an incident.
Make sure you know where the first aid boxes are.
This is especially important when you are by yourself. Knowing where the first aid boxes are and how to use their contents not only helps you to administer basic first aid to yourself, it also prevents the need for calling an ambulance for minor cuts and scrapes.
Don’t do anything that you aren’t trained to do.
This includes performing tasks and using machinery that you do not have the training for or have the safety knowledge for. Don’t use anything without the necessary safety gear, either.
Accidents happen in the workplace every day, but with the right training and a bit of common sense, you can play your part in preventing them and keep yourself safe.
Katie Matthews is a Marketing Executive for Lookout Call the leading lone worker application in the UK. Katie writes about a number of topics covering technical applications for business and procedures to improve health and safety in the workplace.