Accidents or emergencies can happen anywhere, including at your place of work. It doesn’t matter if you’re based in an office, a salon or a construction ground – there are risks everywhere. Plus, with the recent global pandemic, it can even more important to be aware of your personal safety as well as physical safety too.
Your employer should ensure that you are safe while at work, but still, unpredictable events can still occur. When they do, you are the main person that is by far best positioned to protect yourself. You employer can set the guidelines and help you be as safe as possible, but at the end of the day, it is down to you to protect yourself with your actions and awareness.
Before reading the tips below, it’s worth introducing yourself to any HR teams at work, or health and safety officers, and understanding how they manage risk assessments, and the general training of staff, old or new. There are many advanced procedures and technology in place now that helps workplaces, such as MSite for construction workers, which have been designed to make it easier for HR to look after day-to-day workforce management, future resource planning and improving productivity.
Here are five tips on how to stay safe at work, no matter where you are based..
1. Know your emergency procedures
Any building that has passed inspection should have clearly marked and visible escape routes in case of an emergency such as a fire.
If you are an employee, make sure that you know your building’s escape routes. Furthermore, familiarize yourself with the safety procedures specific to your workplace.
Different occupations are faced with different risks but knowing how to spot a potential source of danger and what to do in case of an emergency is going to drastically cut down your reaction time.
Reacting as fast as possible significantly increases your chances of getting out of an emergency unharmed.
2. Know the FPE and fire alarm locations
Fire prevention equipment, usually a fire extinguisher, should be available in at least one location at your place of work.
If you work in a bigger building, then multiple fire extinguisher lockers will most likely be available.
Either way, make sure you know where they are since they are really easy to use and they allow you to quickly and safely take care of any small fires before they can become a major problem that requires firefighters.
It is also recommended that you remind yourself where the fire alarms are in your building. In case of a bigger fire, look to trigger the closest fire alarm and get out of there.
3. Carry a panic button if working alone
Depending on your occupation or place of work, you may find yourself in a situation where you are the only worker in a location.
One way your employer can help you say safe in this situation is by providing you with a panic button or lone worker alarm.
Those devices are used by employees to call for help in case of an emergency.
More advanced versions have features that allow location tracking, as well as the ability to automatically call for help in case of a medical emergency when you can’t call for help yourself.
If your employer didn’t already provide you with one, it might be a good idea to talk to them and ask for it.
4. Carry protective equipment and follow other safety procedures
Some occupations will require you to carry some sort of protective equipment while at work.
This equipment should be issued by your employer or at worst they should reimburse you for purchasing it.
While it may seem like a hassle at times, protective equipment exists for a reason and it is one of those things that probably won’t be useful to you 99% of the time, but you’ll be glad you had it that 1% of the time.
Don’t take unnecessary risks! The same goes for any other safety procedures your place of work may have in place. A great example of this are the rules for handling hazardous materials. They exist for a reason and they can put everyone at risk if they are not followed.
5. Maintain work-life balance
Research has shown that a lack of work-life balance can lead to great stress, and that great stress can lead to a number of health problems both large and small.
Stress can also make you more prone to errors, and certain errors can endanger not only yourself, but your coworkers as well.
Fortunately, many employers are becoming more aware of the effect stress can have on their employees and they are more receptive to employees that approach them with a request that will help them reduce their overall level of stress.
One thing you can do on your own is to try to leave your work at work, i.e. not allow yourself to use your free time thinking about work-related events or problems.
Using your free time to enjoy things you want to enjoy is one of the best things you can do to manage your levels of stress.