As National Safety Month comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on things that you can do to keep yourself and your co-workers safe throughout the year.
The best way to stay safe at work is to choose proactive safety, which means focusing on incident prevention. Here are a few tips to help identify blind spots and prevent injuries.
1. Inspect Your PPE Every Time You Use It
PPE plays a huge role in keeping you safe. However, it wears out, becomes defective or even has a minor issue (like a loose stitch), it loses its efficacy.
Inspect your PPE from your gloves to your fall protection harness every time you use it. Report any faulty PPE or PPE involved in an incident to your project manager, and don’t use PPE that was previously involved in an incident.
2. Get Involved with Total Health and Wellness
Stress, fatigue, and poor mental health can all contribute to injuries at work. Consider ways to help improve your total health outside of work, and talk to your project managers about finding ways to support your health at work, such as through changes in shift patterns, providing resources, or reducing workloads.
3. Avoid Distracted Driving
Traffic incidents are one of the most common ways to get seriously injured at work. It’s important to avoid distracted driving, even when in a time crunch. Avoid eating or talking on the phone when driving, and pull over if you feel tired or unwell.
4. Report Hazards and Potential Hazards
See a hazard? Report it to the relevant team member or manager to capture it and resolve it. And don’t stick to obvious hazards: report potential hazards, too, to provide context that might identify underlying safety issues.
5. Always Work in Pairs
Working remotely is dangerous because it takes longer to seek help after an injury. Work in pairs when possible, and carry a personal emergency device when you must make trips alone.
If you haven’t already, ask your employer for lone worker training.
6. Keep Emergency Phone Numbers in Your Vehicle
Who do you call in an emergency after 911? Keep all relevant local, state, and company numbers in your vehicle as well as in your phone so that anyone assisting you knows who to call.
7. Ask Your Safety Director About Compliance Tech
Technology streamlines safety programs, and it also keeps workers safer. Familiarize yourself with fall protection, dropped objects, and electrical hazard tech that can help you stay safe on the job.
8. Report Near Misses
We all know the importance of reporting incidents, especially when they are OSHA recordable or reportable incidents. However, near misses also deserve a report. A near miss is an incident that got lucky, and it’s just as important to find the root cause of a near miss to prevent it from becoming a work-related injury or even a fatality in the future.