Accidents happen, but they don’t have to happen if you remember your safety training and always follow the best work practices. Here are 10 ways to reduce your chances of suffering an accident or injury on the job.
1. Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). Always wear the PPE that the task requires, both on and off the job. PPE can save your hearing, your eyesight, or your life. When it’s well maintained and used properly, PPE can prevent injuries that could cause chronic pain or permanent disability. Wearing a hard hat can help you prevent fatal and life altering head injuries. Wearing your safety glasses can prevent flying fragments from becoming embedded in your eyeball.
2. Safety Devices. Never bypass a safety device or remove a guard. Safety interlocks and guards keep you from coming in contact with dangerous parts. Before removing any safety device- for maintenance repairs, to chance a cutter, or to clear a jam- make the equipment or tool safe by following the appropriate lockout/tagout procedures.
3. Lockout/tagout (LOTO). Always follow LOTO procedures before you start to work on any machine or piece of equiptment. You can die or be seriously injured if the power is turned on or the machine you are servicing or maintaining moves or starts up unexpectedly. For example, at home you can use LOTO before you reach into the garage disposal, work on the lawnmower, unjam the snow blower, or work around an appliance.
4. Fire Prevention. Never smoke around flammables. Doing so could cause a serious fire or explosion. Only smoke in designated areas.
5. Horseplay. Don’t participate in horseplay or use shortcuts to get your work done faster. Massing around, playing jokes, and taking chances usually lead to someone getting hurt.
6. Training. Participate in as much training as time permits. Even if you’ve been to the training before, there are always new things to learn. In addition, it always pays to freshen up your knowledge on safety procedures. The more you know, the safer you’ll be.
7. Fall Prevention. Practice proper fall prevention and fall protection techniques. Falls are one of the top four causes of deaths in construction. Use ladders very carefully and make certain they are set up correctly.
8. Intoxication. Do not come to work intoxicated. Come to work fit for duty and with a clear head. Drug and alcohol problems at work aren’t limited to use in the workplace. Use and abuse outside of work can have lingering effects that make it unsafe for you to work the next day.
9. Cleanliness. Keep all work areas neat and clean. Pick up as you go, don’t wait until the end of the day. A messy jobsite is a dangerous jobsite. Good housekeeping helps to keep yourself as well as the others around you safe.
10. Safe driving. Drive defensively and avoid all distractions. Pay attention so you can anticipate what other drivers will do. Don’t use your phone while you drive. Texting and driving can cause serious and life threatening injuries to yourself and other drivers on the road.