When it comes to safety in the workplace, the most basic precautions are often the ones that are overlooked. Organizations have the utmost responsibility of providing and maintaining a safe and healthy working environment at all times. This fact does not negate the individual responsibility a worker has to take the necessary precautions to ensure their own health and safety and that of any colleagues who may be affected by their work activities.
The most recent statistics by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) report that in the United States, 4,821 workers were killed on the job in 2014 alone. This means that on the average, more than 13 fatalities occurred every day. 17% of those deaths occurred in the construction trades, with OSHA predicting that more than half of those deaths in construction that year could have been prevented by keeping workplace safety tips in mind while on the job.
In Nigeria, more people die at work than at wars. Beyond job related deaths, each year, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) found that there are about 268 million non-fatal workplace accidents; the victims miss at least 3 days of work as a result, as well as 160 million new cases of work related illnesses
In many workplaces, safety procedures are frequently disregarded due to perceived insufficient time, neglecting responsibility, underestimating potential danger, procrastination and many other excuses given by workers. This could result in LTIs (Lost Time Incidence), FATs (Fatalities), FAC (First Aid Cases), MTC (Medical treated Cases) that could have easily been prevented by taking basic precautions.
On the other hand, when safety precautions are well practiced amongst workers, there are major benefits such as increased productivity, minimized risk of injury, fewer workplace disruptions and lower absenteeism rates.
Research has found four vital tips that workers can adopt to ensure their safety and that of their co-workers.
- Work Safe
Every worker should take personal responsibility of their safety. While at work, always avoid hazardous situations, ensure optimal working conditions and personally adopt best safety practices. This way, you save money, time and possible loss of life.
- Report Hazards
Anytime you see something unsafe, report it to your facilities management department or Health and Safety Department immediately. Only if a hazard is identified can actions be taken to address the hazard, and hence reduce the potential for the hazard to result in a negative impact.
- Observe and practice the safety procedures established in your workplace
By doing things right and observing set safety procedures in your workplace, you and your co-workers will commit yourselves to safety on the job and everyone will benefit. Accidents occur in many ways but most often can be traced back to one of two basic factors: ignorance or carelessness.
- Always be prepared for an emergency
Emergencies can happen, and being prepared for them ahead of time is vital. The lack of an emergency plan could lead to severe losses such as multiple casualties including one’s self.
Safety in the workplace is the responsibility of everyone. Most safety practices are common sense. Unfortunately, they can be forgotten or overlooked unless you make safe practices a habit or an instinct.