Thousands of people are injured on the job every year. Workplace injuries can occur no matter what you do for a living. For example, whether you move furniture, wait tables, or do secretarial work in an office, the potential to be injured while you’re working is always there. Each workplace has its own set of challenges and offer daily chances for an injury to occur. Work-related injuries can cover minor irritations such as eye strain to life-altering conditions such as loss of limbs.
The best way to prevent work-related injuries is to make yourself aware of the risks associated with your job duties, and to take measures to make your workplace a safety-conscious environment.
- Make sure your workplace is a safe environment. Begin by keeping any flammable or hazardous materials safely contained. Make sure your work area has adequate ventilation and is equipped with working smoke detectors and sprinklers. Keep clutter to a minimum and clean up any spills or debris off the floor. Also it is very important to make sure everyone you work with is familiar with the proper safety guidelines and regulations, and always report hazardous conditions.
- Know the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) Rules. OSHA, sets specific safety guidelines that every employer must follow. The safety guidelines are in place to protect both you the employee, and any customers or consumers you come in contact with. The OSHA guidelines cover issues including, the number of breaks an employee is entitled to, proper equipment handling and food storage, and methods for dealing with hazardous or harmful materials like chemicals or flammable liquids.
- Wear appropriate workplace attire to prevent work-related injuries. If you have long hair tie it back and out of the way. Do not wear oversized, baggy pants or shirts with long sleeves since the extra material can get caught in machinery or cause you to trip. Wear good shoes with rubber soles to prevent any tripping or falling. If your workplace requires that you wear professional attire, keep heels at a reasonable height.
- Maintain proper body mechanics. Lift heavy objects from a wide base of support using your leg strength, and avoid twisting movements which could damage your spine. Back injuries are some of the most common work-related injuries, but many of them can be prevented just by using proper techniques when you’re lifting heavy objects. Remember to never lift or move more than 20 lbs. by yourself without using a moving dolly. Lifting with your knees will place most of the weight on your knees instead of straining your back, and using both hands will evenly distribute the weight.
- Take regular breaks. Workplace fatigue contributes to many work related injuries. Taking regular breaks to relax your mind or stretch will allow you to focus more on your daily assignments.