Staying healthy and safe at work is important. No matter what your job, it is important to reduce your risks of injury and illness at work.
Here’s my top ten tips to help make your workplace safe.
- Understand the risks. Once you know the particular hazards of your job or workplace, you can take steps to reduce your risk of work-related injury or illness.
- Reduce workplace stress. Common causes include long hours, heavy workload, job insecurity and conflicts with coworkers or bosses. Stress can lead to depression, sleeping difficulties and problems with concentration.
- Take regular breaks. Staying fresh and alert will help you avoid injury or burnout. Schedule the most difficult tasks of each day for times when your concentration is best, such as first thing in the morning.
- Avoid stooping or twisting. Use ergonomically designed furniture and equipment, and rearrange your work area so that everything you need is within easy reach.
- Use mechanical aids whenever possible. Instead of trying to lift or carry a heavy object, use a wheelbarrow, conveyor belt, crane or forklift.
- Protect your back. If you do need to pick up and carry heavy loads, keep the load close to your body and lift with your thigh muscles.
- Wear protective equipment to suit the task. If worn correctly, gear such as earplugs, earmuffs, hard hat, safety goggles, gloves or full-face mask can dramatically reduce your risk of injury.
- Stay sober. Alcohol and drugs are a contributing factor in around three per cent of workplace fatalities.
- Talk over any concerns. Your employer or human resources manager need to be informed about hazards and risks. Your employer is legally obliged to ensure a safe working environment.
- Know your rights. Organisations such as WorkSafe Australia can offer information and advice on workplace safety issues.