How To Keep Yourself Safe In A Hazardous Work Environment

Safety is a big concern for employees. This is because while they’re working, they are susceptible to many workplace hazards. Employers are bound by the law to ensure that employees are safe at all times. But if workers don’t take mandatory preventive measures into account, it won’t take long for an injury to turn into a permanent disability or even death. But, for a business, a loss translates into something different.

The process of hiring a new workforce to replace the old one costs both money and resources. Since resources are limited, it drastically affects a business model. Therefore, when safety and preventive methods get implemented, it reduces workplace hazards and boosts productivity.

So while your company may put safety policies in place, you need to take some measures for yourself to make sure you’re safe. Here’s what you need to do to make sure you are protected while working:

1. Assess All the Risks Your Work Poses

The first thing you need to do is figure out the number of potential risks in your workplace. Are you prepared to take unwanted risks at the cost of not using proper PPE’s or will you invest your own money in buying safety equipment if your employer doesn’t?

It’s a good idea to be prepared if you know what risks you’re up against; it helps keep yourself safe. You will know what gear you need to strap on and what gear will only add on weight. You can even consult occupational health and safety specialists to guide you further on what measures you can take and what equipment you’d need to ensure you’re safe in hazardous work environments.

If you feel your company hasn’t taken all the necessary steps, you should let them know. After all, it is not worth risking your life if the work is not safe.

2. Work On Reducing Workplace Stress

Stress is a workplace hazard. It makes it difficult for you to cope mentally and physically and puts a strain on your health. Some of the consequences of stress are a lack of sleep and increased substance abuse, which becomes further mental health problems.

While stress is inevitable, you need to find ways to put it in the backseat. You can look into counseling and therapy after work to help you unload your problems. If your job is physically strenuous, maybe seek a physical therapist who can help you look after your muscles.

You can even take the initiative and start a workplace counseling session. During these sessions, you and your coworkers can sit and talk about the daily stresses of your profession and how you can make it less. Unacknowledged stress can seep into your personal life. You may become too abrasive, irritable, or even agitated.

3. Take Breaks

Even if your coworkers are pushing for longer working hours, you should never follow suit. You need to know your body’s needs and when you’ve reached your limit. If you need frequent breaks, you should go for it. If you feel like you need to stretch, stroll or rest for a while, don’t ignore your body.

It is not wise to operate types of machinery or hold equipment when you’re tired. Not only will you make a mistake, but you may also injure yourself. So, remember to take breaks. If you feel hungry, make sure you eat enough, and when you know, you can’t work any longer, put it on a pause.

4. Don’t Hold One Pose for Too Long

When handling machinery, it is natural to keep your fingers in position for a long time. This doesn’t seem right. Not only do your joints start aching, but you are also limiting blood flow to them. Therefore, while you’re operating on any machine, time and time again, relax your body and flex.

You and your coworker can also partner up and help each other perform stretches on each other. The same goes for when you make a motion to sit. Don’t sit on hard surfaces for long; instead, opt for more furniture that supports your back and posture.

While you’re sitting, it is also a good idea to exercise your feet and hands in a circular motion that will keep your joints moving, and the blood flow consistent. If you don’t take care of yourself now, you will feel the repercussions as you age.

5. Make Sure You Protect Your Back

One of the chief complaints people who work in physically stressful environments such as construction sites have is injured backs. Your back provides support to your entire body. If you injure it, recovery is hard, but an injury on-site may even cost you your life.

Therefore, never try to lift loads heavier than what your body can handle. There is equipment available that may help you support your weight and the load you carry. Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need to move heavy equipment either upstairs or to a new location. Don’t also try to be efficient by taking on more than one load at a time.

Always pace yourself and stop immediately when you can no longer push on. In case you can, try using mechanical aids such as machines to help lift heavy objects.

6. Pay Attention to Your Surroundings

One of the reasons why there are so many workplace injuries is because people aren’t paying attention to their surroundings. This is because they’re too distracted or operating in areas where the lighting is dim.

It would help if you never attempted working in sites where you can’t see around you. Not only will you make mistakes, but you may also injure yourself. If there is naked wiring lying around, don’t attempt to work with them unless you power off the main switch. Never use your phone at work unless you need to and, in those cases, switch to Bluetooth instead so your eyes are always in front of you.

When you’re operating machinery, first check if all the components are in order. You’re strapped in safely, and your surroundings are all clear. These precautions may sound time-consuming, but they’re critical since all it takes is slight negligence for a mishap to happen.

7. Don’t Abuse Substance Before Work

An occasional smoke or drink doesn’t hurt anyone, but there is a time and place for everything. It would help if you exercised control over yourself, especially when drinking or using drugs. You can’t show up to work either high or drunk. Not only are you endangering yourself, but you’re also endangering those around you.

You won’t be able to make sense of your surroundings, and you will have no inhibitions. You may get yourself in an accident and injure yourself in the worst possible way. If you feel you drank too much or can feel the effects of any recreational drugs you might have used, take the day off.

Wrapping Up

Your safety is essential as you go to work. While your employers may put safety regulations in place, they’re futile unless you follow them to the T! When you show up to work, make sure you know what you’re doing and how to do it. Always make a risk assessment first.

Don’t attempt any task till you know what equipment you’ll need to do it. Make sure when you’re working, you always have your safety equipment with you. Pay attention to your surroundings, and never try lifting heavy stuff on your own without any help.

If you’re reckless at work, it doesn’t take long for an accident to happen. Finally, don’t show up to work either drunk or under the effects of a drug. Not only does it take away your inhibitions, but it will also cloud your judgment and is yet another invitation to getting hurt.

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