No matter what kind of work you do, it is important to take every precaution possible to avoid accidents on the job. Whether it is your responsibility or that of your employer, remember that just one accident can have serious consequences rendering you unable to work, or worse. Here are some simple ways to prevent accidents at work.
When in Doubt – Don’t
So many people have lamented that they had a feeling something just wasn’t right with the equipment they were working with. Perhaps it was making a funny sound or just wasn’t responding as it should. Before they knew it, a blade came spinning off or a support broke and they ended up in ER with injuries. The first rule of thumb should be that if you have any doubts at all about the equipment you are working with, stop and do a thorough inspection.
Always Use Safety Gear and Guards
This brings us to the next tip and that would be safety gear and guards. Welders should never go without goggles and other protective clothing, for example, as should a machinist never work without the appropriate guards on their machinery. A simple drill press guard can protect your hands from being inadvertently injured as well as preventing flying bits of the material being drilled from turning into lethal projectiles. Safety gear and guards are an absolute must. According to OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, it is your right and responsibility to work only with the proper protection.
Don’t Work Impaired or Drowsy
Yes, there are times you should avoid using equipment and machinery. You’ve seen that warning on your prescription pain relievers that tells you not to drive or operate machinery. Why do you think that is? Of course, it’s because you will be impaired, and accidents can happen if you are not alert! Even at the risk of losing your job, it is better to lose work than lose an eye, a finger, a limb or even your life. Safety comes first.
Regular Safety Checks and Drills
While there is some equipment which might only need to be inspected weekly or monthly, there is other machinery which should be inspected daily or even before each use. Can you imagine letting airplanes fly in and out of airports without being inspected by the pilot whose ultimate responsibility it is at each airport? The same holds true for such things as that drill press you will be using or the platforms you will be rappelling with from high-rise buildings. Always map out one or more exits in case of natural or manmade disasters and keep those routes posted so that you can get out safely in the event of a fire, earthquake or other sudden emergency.
Remember, it may be the boss’ responsibility to provide that protective gear or equipment, but it is your safety in question. You have the right to refuse to operate any equipment which can cause harm to you or your surroundings. Again, when in doubt, don’t. There is a reason why OSHA sets requirements for the workplace so heed their warnings well. Your very life could depend on it.
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Founder Dinis Guarda
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