Accidents in the workplace are often very preventable and risk can easily be removed if your employer complies with the relevant health and safety regulations. In a lot of cases, it can be that your employer has acted negligently and that has caused your accident. But there are some things that you can do as an employee to limit your chances of having an accident in the workplace. Below we have listed some of the most effective things you can do to avoid an accident at work:
- Repetitive tasks at work can be one of the major causes of a workplace injury. Work related Upper Limb Disorders are medical conditions which are caused while working or exacerbated while at work, quite often because of a repetitive task. An example is carpal tunnel syndrome which can affect people who use a keyboard frequently. If you do a job in an office, factory or warehouse where you are required to do repetitive work, then ensure that you take regular breaks from sitting, standing or moving in the same position.
- Ensure you get plenty of sleep. Whatever your job, if you have not had enough sleep then your abilities can be seriously affected when working. This is particularly the case when operating dangerous machinery. If you are working with a machine that is used for cutting, sawing or chopping then the dangers could be catastrophic if you have an injury or make a mistake. If you work nights then try to keep the same sleep schedule and try to have between 7 – 8 hours of rest before starting your working day
- If your job involves driving then be careful to take the necessary precautions while you are on the road. Road traffic accidents can cause life changing injuries so it is important to ensure you get sufficient sleep before you begin a long journey; this will help considerably with your levels of alertness while on long stretches of roads like motorways. In addition, if you need to, take a short break at service areas on the motorway to recharge your batteries
- Employers are responsible for providing employees with the correct Personal Protective Equipment which is appropriate to the job. It is also an employer’s responsibility to ensure this equipment is maintained, risk assessed where appropriate and replaced when needed. To help, employees can also do their bit. If you are asked to use a certain piece of equipment and you are unsure of how it works, you should not hesitate to ask your supervisor to show you. If you need training, then remind your line manager or supervisor to arrange this for you. If you can see that some equipment is not up to standard, advise your manager that the piece of equipment may need testing or replacing to ensure it is in working order and will not cause any accidents
- Make sure that when training is booked for you by your employer, you attend it. It could save your life! Employers are required by law to organise training for staff to ensure they are as safe as possible in the workplace. Always communicate with your team, whether this be informing other employees about a faulty piece of machinery or reporting dangers to your workplace health and safety representative or supervisor
- Over exerting yourself at work can also cause accidents to happen. Although you want to get jobs done in the shortest amount of time, rushing jobs by loading more weight onto loads is often counter-productive…and dangerous. Too much weight on a load you are carrying can cause back strain as can repeated lifting. You will need to adopt safe ways of lifting to avoid acquiring any conditions like elbow injuries, spinal problems and back or shoulder strains