It’s an employer’s job to make sure that they are complying with all rules and regulations to provide a safe and healthy environment for their staff. Through policies and procedures, employers can establish and educate their employees on how to remain safe in the workplace. Yet, to truly be safe at work, employees too have a level of responsibility. Not only must they make themselves aware of the health and safety guidelines mandated by their boss, but they must also take safety precautions and openly communicate with management when problems arise. Below are some workplace safety tips for employees.
Read, Understand, and Follow Established Health and Safety Policies
Upon your hire, your employer or human resources department likely gave you an employee handbook that included policies and procedures on health and safety. Don’t flip past this section. It is imperative that you read it and understand what is required of you as an employee. Once you have an understanding, you should do your absolute best to make sure that you follow the policies entirely.
Keep Your Workstation Clean and Organized
It doesn’t matter whether you work in a cubicle or on an assembly line at a warehouse, your workstation could quickly become a health or safety hazard. A file box left out of place, tools placed where they don’t belong, piles of trash, disorganized papers, any of these things can result in a health or safety hazard for you, your coworkers, and customers. Make sure you keep your personal workstation clean and organized.
Look Out for Pests
It is your employer’s job to spring for professional pest control measures when needed. A highly-rated exterminator in Nashville, or wherever the business is located, will keep the property free of insects and rodents. However, it’s your job to point out signs of trouble if you see them. If you notice wires have been chewed on, you see mice feces on your desk, you smell foul odors, or you’ve spotted an insect in the breakroom, you need to immediately report this to your employer. Pests are not only nasty, but they leave behind bacteria and viruses and can wreak havoc on structures like wood beams and electrical wires. Speaking up to allow your supervisor to hire pest control reduces the likelihood that anyone gets sick.
Workplace dress codes aren’t just about professionalism, they’re also about safety. If your employer, for instance, advises against wearing sandals without a strap for support, you should follow this rule. Though it may seem silly, going against it could cause you to trip and fall. Follow the dress code as advised, whether that means wearing jeans, a hard hat, and construction boots or avoiding backless shoes, as it’s for your own good.
Attend Safety Training
When training is offered in the office, you don’t want to miss out. From general reviews of safety guidelines to training in CPR and how to use standard equipment, you want to be informed on how to keep yourself and others safe from harm. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you don’t understand, as the more you know the better it is for everyone.
Take Care of Your Health
Believe it or not, you have an obligation to care for your health and well-being as an employee. Coming to work sick, particularly with an illness that can be spread through the building, isn’t advised. Take care of your health regularly by eating right, exercising, getting enough sleep, and when you’re not feeling good, call out and visit the doctor.
Your employer will do the best they can to make sure that you’re in a safe and decent environment, but they can’t be everywhere all the time. As an employee, it is your responsibility to speak up when you sense there is something wrong. Whether you noticed a piece of machinery wasn’t working, or you saw something spilled on the floor in the breakroom that needs to be tended to, you should not neglect to report a health or safety hazard.
Every business, no matter what size or industry, has an obligation to look after their employees and customers by providing a safe and healthy environment for them all. This means keeping the place clean, scheduling maintenance and repairs, keeping equipment up to date, conducting health and safety training, and much more. As your employer does their part to optimize health and safety in the workplace, it is your responsibility to meet them halfway and do your part.