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10 Things You Can Do to Prevent Workplace Accidents

09.15.15   Mark A. Halloway, OHST | More by this Author

10 Things You Can Do to Prevent Workplace Accidents

Chances are you may have heard this before: "What can I do about accident prevention? I’m not a safety person. I just work here."

Actually, there are a significant number of things you can do to help prevent accidents and improve the safety culture in your workplace. They involve being continuously alert to possible hazards and following safe work practices and procedures. Here are ten guidelines for what you can do to keep safe in the workplace:

  1. Know your job. Follow all instructions, and if you are not sure of exactly how to carry out an assigned task, ask your Team Leader for additional instructions or training.
  2. Use tools properly. Select the proper tool designed for the task at hand. Inspect the tools before you use them and use only tools that are in good condition and function properly.
  3. Practice good housekeeping. Keep your work area clean and orderly, with nothing in aisles or walkways to create a tripping hazard. Put tools away after you finish using them. Clean up spills promptly. Dispose of waste materials properly.
  4. Practice safe lifting. Lift with your legs, not your back. Move your feet to turn, don’t twist your torso. Don’t overload yourself. Get help for loads you can’t easily lift alone. Be ready and willing to help out coworkers with team lifting.
  5. Avoid slips/trips/falls. Watch where you're going. Make sure there is adequate light in the work area. Cover cords or cables that cross walkways. Clean up spills of liquids or granular materials that can decrease traction on floors. If using a ladder, set it up properly. Face the ladder when climbing up or down, using both hands, maintaining three points of contact. When working on ladder do not work from above the top two rungs of the ladder and don't overreach.
  6. Dress safely for work. If working around equipment/machinery with moving parts, leave your jewelry at home or keep it in a pocket. Don't wear a loose, long-hair style around equipment/machinery with moving parts. Wear sturdy, low-heeled shoes.
  7. Use required personal protective equipment. Wear a hard hat, gloves, safety boots, safety glasses, hearing protection, fall protection gear, respirators or whatever specialized equipment is required to complete the task safely.
  8. Stay alert around machinery. Follow lockout/tag out procedures as needed and observe all warning signs and tags. Stand clear of moving equipment and overhead loads on construction sites and establish eye contact with operators when moving around equipment. Never get on or off equipment when it is moving or bypass machine guards.
  9. Avoid horseplay and practical joking and discourage others from engaging in such activities. This could cause serious harm.
  10. Report all accidents and near-miss incidents. Determining the causes can help prevent further incidents. Get prompt first aid for cuts and scratches (minor injuries can become a major problem if they become infected).

TAGS: Safety

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