The 10 commandments of workplace safety

Humans are always finding “tips and tricks” in almost all that we do to make our processes easier and faster.  We then turn these into workplace habits in our everyday routines. Whilst some can be beneficial we need them to also keep us safe.  Developing everyday safety habits can keep you injury free through the year. Here are ten workplace safety habits to live by:

1. Always be responsible for the safety of yourself and others.

Although many businesses have extensive workplace safety standards, processes and procedures in place; serious accidents and dangerous events can occur at any time unless we continue to maintain consistent focus.  Personal responsibility for workplace safety is about all of us, working safely, and caring for the safety of our colleagues, family, friends and everyone else we come into contact with.  We must intervene when we observe unsafe behaviours or conditions.

2. Always remember all accidents are preventable.

They do happen, but the vast majority of injuries, in the workplace and elsewhere, are completely preventable.  That is the mindset that people have to embrace.  If everyone at your organisation is determined to prevent workplace injuries and they believe they are 100% preventable, the odds are much better that injuries will not occur.  Yes, we all make mistakes.  We shouldn’t look for blame, but for causes.  Workplace safety is a priority.

3. Always follow company rules, regulations and procedures.

Willingly accept and follow workplace safety rules.  Encourage others to do so.  Your attitude can play a major role in the prevention of accidents and injuries.  Following rules and regulations help employees understand what is expected of them and what injuries could occur if they are not followed. It makes for a stable workplace environment where people feel safe to come to work, to be themselves and to go about their business.

4. Always assess the risks, Stop and think.

SLAM – Stop…Look…Assess…Manage.   By using the SLAM technique workers will value the importance of workplace safety and so help create a healthy and safe site. By remembering SLAM, workers are more likely to stop work if a task appears unsafe or risky to their health, or to stop their colleagues behaving in an unsafe or unhealthy way.

5. Always be proactive about safety.

If an individual is proactive, it means that they make things happen instead of wait for things to happen to them. Thus, being proactive means being ready if something happens: the opposite of being reactive. When we think about workplace safety, being proactive entails the use of safety solutions that are designed to prevent an accident before it happens.

If you are uncertain, ask. Do not accept answers that contain, “I think, I assume, I guess.” Be sure.  Any injury you suffer will be yours alone to live with, not those that gave you the uncertain advice.

6. Always deter from situations you’re not trained to handle.

Your supervisor may not realise you have never done the task before. You have the responsibility to let your supervisor know, so the necessary training can be provided.  Do not be scared to speak up and say you need training or advice, it could save your life and the lives of others you work alongside.  Workplace safety is a priority.

7. Always manage the lift.

To help prevent manual handling injuries in the workplace, you should avoid heavy lifting tasks as far as possible. However, where it is not possible to avoid handling a load, employers must look at the risks of that task and put sensible workplace safety measures in place to prevent and avoid injury.  Most muscle and spinal injuries are from overstrain. Know your limits. Do not attempt to exceed them. The few minutes it takes to get help will prevent weeks of being off work and in pain.

8. Always Be prepared.

You are in the best position to see problems when they arise. Ask for the personal protective equipment or additional guidance you need.  Workplace safety is a priority.

9. Always practice good housekeeping.

Experts agree that all workplace safety programs should incorporate housekeeping, and every worker should play a part. In addition, housekeeping should have management’s commitment so workers realize its importance.  Disorganised work areas are the breeding grounds for accidents. You may not be the only victim. Don’t be a cause.

10. Always take the safest path, never take shortcuts.

Even if the job will only take a few minutes, it isn’t worth risking your safety and health for those few minutes. Wear personal protection to safeguard your body parts. Use proper, well-maintained equipment. Don’t improvise to save time. Ladders, steps, and walkways are built to insure your safety, as well as for your convenience. Use them. Don’t go from one elevation to another by climbing a column or sliding down a rope. The safest way isn’t always the shortest way, but it’s the surest way.  Workplace safety is a priority.

If you need assistance to implement and develop the above for your workplace safety, contact us to personalise this to your business.

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