Keeping staff safe is a top priority for managers and business owners. They have a duty of care to their employees and those they oversee. This is largely because they have to adhere to health and safety law. Here we discuss how individuals can improve their safety at work.
According to the UK health and safety law and the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974), it’s the employer’s responsibility to protect the health and safety of both their employees and anyone else who might be affected by the business.
While employers must take care to protect their staff, there are things that employees can do on an individual level to keep themselves safe too. If you’re an employee and wondering how you can improve your own safety in the workplace, take a look at these pointers. Here, we look at some of the ways you can take action without simply relying on what your boss has introduced.
Keep your workspace clean
Wherever you work, whether you’re office-based, work in a kitchen, or you’re a teacher, keeping the area you work in clean and clear of any dirt will not only make the area tidier, but it can reduce the risk of coming into contact with any harmful bacteria. Additionally, it removes any potential hazards, such as slippery surfaces.
Make it part of your routine to wipe down surfaces with disinfectant, dust, and clear away any rubbish. Set reminders so that you can dedicate the time and really assess the space you work in.
Invest in the right equipment
What sector do you work in? It’s likely that if you’re in the medical profession or you work on a building site, for example, you’ll be provided with the appropriate personal protective equipment.
If you know that you’ll need to be protected to do your job effectively – for instance, if you’re a welder and need high-quality protective goggles or you’re a mechanic and you need ear defenders – it’s worth asking your manager for these pieces of PPE as part of the everyday role.
Having the right equipment is especially important if you work in a hazardous place, such as a warehouse – in which case, steel-capped boots and back support belts are likely to protect you when lifting heavy objects. However, there are also issues that can occur in desk-based jobs, too and it’s worth asking your HR manager for wrist support tools if you’re typing a lot or screen protectors if your laptop is affecting your vision.
By asking your managers for PPE, you’re taking responsibility for your wellbeing in the workplace.
Make sure you’re fully trained
If you operate power tools or machinery, you’ll need the training to make sure you know how to act safely. Training should be part and parcel of your role in these situations. However, if you feel like you need more information or you feel like your knowledge is patchy, always request training before you go in and use the equipment or tools.
Whatever setting you work in, if you request further training, you’re reducing the hazard levels and keeping both yourself and colleagues safe
While your boss has a duty of care to you and legal responsibilities to meet, it’s important that you take the lead where you think there might be an issue. Being responsible for your own health and safety at work can make a huge difference to the workplace for yourself and those around you