Accidents can happen at any time in the workplace, often when you least expect them. However, many on-the-job accidents can be avoided by focusing on safe practices and taking necessary safety precautions.
Know the Hazards
The cause of accidents can almost always be traced to a dangerous act, an unsafe condition or a combination of the two. In most instances, an accident could have been avoided by following proper safety precautions.
In order to avoid accidents, it’s important to understand what can cause them. There are countless unsafe acts and conditions that can lead to accidents, but some common hazards include:
- Using defective or broken equipment
- Performing tasks without training
- Failing to wear proper PPE
- Unsafe handling, storage or disposal of materials
- Injuries due to poor housekeeping
Safe Steps to Avoid Accidents
The first step to keeping yourself and co-workers safe is to stay alert on the job and not let routine or familiarity lure you into carelessness. Always observe safety precautions before and during a task, even if those precautions make the task more inconvenient or take longer to complete. Cutting corners may not seem like a big deal, but doing so is a primary cause of accidents.
Next, know your job. The more you know about your job, the safer you’ll be. Know the proper procedures and safety precautions for any task you do, and if any questions arise during your work day, be sure to talk to your supervisor.
And finally, make a personal contribution. A good way to start this is to follow safety rules. Certain rules in the workplace are made for your protection, so follow them. Just because an unsafe act is not specifically listed as being prohibited, it doesn’t mean you should do it. Use your common sense when evaluating if an act is safe or not – there may be a very easy way to make it safer if you stop to think it through.
Focus on Good Habits
It’s human nature to work yourself into habits, and when you break a safety rule, you’ve taken the first and most influential step in forming a bad habit — a habit that can lead to an injury. Good habits, such as following safety precautions and noticing unsafe conditions, are just as easy to form.
Develop a safe attitude. This is probably one of the most difficult things to recognize because most of us have the mistaken notion that it’s always someone else who gets hurt, never us. If we all do our share in observing safety rules and staying alert for unsafe conditions, everyone will benefit.