12 Workplace Safety Tips Every Employee Should Know in 2020

In 2019 so far, 2,836 work-related fatalities were reported to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). Additionally, there were around 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported to OSHA. With numbers like this, it’s no wonder that many companies are in need of safety tips for work.

OSHA infographic

https://www.ishn.com/OSHAInfographic

We rolled our sleeves up and hit the books to present you with 12 workplace safety tips every employee and employer needs to know in 2020. 

12 Workplace Safety Tips Every Employee Should Know

1. Report unsafe conditions

Stopping unsafe conditions starts with YOU. Employees must report unsafe conditions to their managers as soon as they notice something isn’t right. Managers are legally obligated to create a safe working environment so if you report something as unsafe, they have to correct it as soon as possible. From wet floors to a ladder that is slightly bent and more, make sure you speak up so you can create a safe workplace for yourself and your colleagues. 

why report workplace accidents image

https://www.careermetis.com/workplace-accident-why-should-i-report-it/

Using a mobile checklists and forms app allows you to report unsafe conditions in real-time so your manager can correct the issue straight away. Plus, you can send an immediate update to all employees alerting them to the problem to avoid injury. 

2. Know the latest safety procedures

Whether your company purchases new equipment or just updates safety procedures, you must know the new safety procedures and safety topics for work associated with the change. Make sure you fully understand the new protocol and ask questions for clarification. A mobile training app allows you to receive training updates immediately and your manager can create a quiz to ensure you understand the changes. 

3. Don’t take shortcuts

Workplace safety and handling procedures exist to keep your employees safe, especially those when involving heavy machinery. It is essential to use each tool and machine according to instruction, shortcuts will only cause injury and just aren’t worth the few minutes you may save. So, be sure you’re using the right tool, the correct way.

4. Take regular breaks

Taking regular breaks is not just required by OSHA but it’s just common sense too. The entire reason that OSHA included the regular breaks is common sense, when workers are tired, they’re more prone to incidents because awareness of their surroundings is hampered by exhaustion. Taking breaks on a regular schedule helps keep employees fresh.

Fatigue and Work Infographic

https://www.ccohs.ca/products/posters/fatigue/

5. Have emergency protocols

Emergencies don’t often announce themselves, like fire, floods or tornados for example. So you must be prepared for everything in your region that can disrupt safety to your company, your employees and your customers. As far safety topics for work go, emergency protocols are a no-brainer.

Therefore, have procedures in place if an emergency should happen: 

  • Anticipate natural disasters and similar emergencies by checking social media alerts and the Weather Channel. 
  • Ensure your insurance is in check.
  • Identify risks to your company. 
  • Identify crucial points to your company and how to effectively protect them.
  • Create an emergency management plan.
  • Make sure your employees complete Emergency Response and Evacuation Training.

Additionally, make sure everyone knows where the emergency exits are located and prevent them from being blocked. 

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6. Reduce workplace stress

The American Physiology Association has linked job stress to health problems, burnout, workplace accidents and more. Employers must take steps to prevent stress from interfering with an employee’s productivity and well-being. An EAP (Employee Assistance Program) can be highly beneficial

7. Wear the right clothing

Proper clothing is a must when it comes to workplace safety, whether you’re operating machinery or working with hazardous materials. Proper footwear is just as necessary as well as it prevents you from slipping or falling. Be sure to ask your employer what the proper protective gear is when handling a certain job and if they will provide the clothing needed. 

PPE gear infographic

https://www.pinterest.com/safetytalkideas/free-workplace-safety-posters/

8. Follow ergonomics standards

Ergonomics refers to adjusting the job to suit an employee’s physical needs. Such as the office ergonomics, workspace design, and the work environment to help maintain productivity and safe working conditions. From standing at a machine all day or sitting at a computer desk, the equipment should be at the proper height to avoid straining one’s neck. Keyboard height can even affect the back, shoulders, and wrists. Therefore, follow these safety topics for work and ensure your workstation is designed to suit your needs. 

9. Follow industry standards

Make sure that your employer is complying with all the proper standards, it’s important that you’re aware and up to date on the standards are for your industry. Think of it like this, OSHA has strict standards when working with hazardous materials, therefore it’s incredibly important that you use material safety data sheets (MSDS) for hazardous substances. If you believe your employer isn’t complying with or meeting these standards, you must go to human resources right away. 

1o. Have a safety group of employees

Rely on your staff to help find solutions to workplace safety issues. Consider assembling a five or six-person “Safety Task Force” whose job it is to review the company’s safety manual, plus the building, property and internal protocols which are focused on keeping offices, clients, and employees safe. When you ask your employees directly what they feel could lead to certain problems, it can help open your eyes to problems you were blind to.

In addition, involving your employees helps them feel valued and more safe once procedures are implemented. 

10 Tips for work safety Infographic

https://www.inxsoftware.com/news/10-tips-for-work-safety-infographic/

11. Conduct safety surveys

On a regular basis, issue a safety survey and cover everything –  how employees feel about management’s commitment to safety, the effectiveness of safety training, and if it’s easy to report concerns. These insights should provide employers with insights into what procedures need improvement and areas of concern. 

12. Move around!

The U.S. pays $100 billion each year in medical bills, lost work time and other costs because one in four occupational injuries is related to low-back-strain. Some of these strains relate to lifting and twisting, but that isn’t always the case. Sometimes it’s about poor posture, like extended sitting in compromised positions. As such, encourage your employees to stand up more (consider sit-stand desks) and to walk around. Take a 5 minute break every hour to just get up and move around can be highly effective. 

Workplace safety isn’t something employees should have to think just during training workshops or drills. Instead, it’s more effective to include workplace safety in the company culture by encouraging everyone to be accountable for maintaining a safe workplace. Together, all of you can reduce the number of accidents and injuries. 

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