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How to keep yourself safe in the workplace

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It is estimated that around 2.3 million women and men around the world succumb to work-related accidents or diseases every year; this corresponds to over 6,000 deaths every single day. Worldwide, there are around 340 million occupational accidents and 160 million victims of work-related illnesses annually.

Here are a few tips to keep yourself safe at work:

Always pay attention to what is around you

There are many hazards in the workplace so you must take some responsibility for your own safety and attempt to learn which stations are most likely hazardous and try to keep those areas clear. It is important to always alert a manager if you find any problems that may arise in relation to hazards at work.

Tools and machines should be used properly

Always take proper precautions when using tools and never take shortcuts. This is the leading cause of workplace injuries, which are often down to workers taking a shortcut on the job. Do not use a tool that has not been designed to do the job. Your chance of being injured in the workplace dramatically decreases when you use tools the correct way.

Always use the correct safety equipment

You increase your chances of injury when you do not wear the correct equipment. Your job may require you to wear gloves, safety goggles, a hard hat, ear defenders or even a full face mask. If you feel that the correct equipment has not been provided, then speak with a manager and advise them of this.

Lifting heavy items

You need to make sure you protect your back if your job involves lifting. Keep the load close to the body for as long as possible while lifting. Keep the heaviest side of the load next to the body. If a close approach to the load is not possible, try to slide it towards the body before attempting to lift it. Avoid twisting the back or leaning sideways, especially while the back is bent. Use equipment to help if this has been provided. Even if you want to save a little time, do not try to lift or carrying something that is very heavy on your own. This is a major cause of workplace injuries. Employers are required to provide training in respect of manual handling and how to do it safely.

Report any unsafe conditions

We touched on this earlier, but it is very important to alert a supervisor if there are any unsafe areas or safety hazards in the workplace. It is a legal requirement for an employer to ensure a safe work environment for members of staff and, once informed, they can then take steps to make unsafe the dangerous area or equipment, to prevent any accidents from occurring.

Maintain a good posture

To avoid issues with your back whilst working at a desk make sure your shoulders line up with your hips. Put both feet on the floor or use a foot rest if required. The natural curve in your lower back should be supported by your chair. Try not to slouch and keep your hips as close to the back of the chair as possible. If you are experiencing issues then a workstation check should be requested from your employer to assess how you are sitting and make any reasonable adjustments to help.

Stress in the workplace

Burn out can happen within a workplace and this is when you are at risk of developing work-related stress. Poor concentration and depression are often linked to high levels of stress, this can include conflicts with managers or co-workers, job insecurity or even a heavy work load and long hours. If you feel this way about your job you should speak to a manager and discuss what changes may need to be made to help with the mental load.

Ensure others are health and safety trained

This is in relation to first aid training, which is very important within the workplace. The reality is you never actually know when someone is going to require medical assistance. Ensuring first aid training is offered can add a level of comfort and assures workers that if the worst should happen then their employer have gone as far as possible to deal with it appropriately. You are entitled to check with your employer that someone in your workplace is adequately trained in health and safety.

Regardless of taking all the correct precautions, sometimes accidents in work do still occur and this is where Stephensons may be able to assist in recovering the compensation you deserve. If you feel that you have been injured due to work failing to provide a safe environment for yourself and others then please do not hesitate to contact us on 0161 696 6235 and a member of our expert personal injury team will be able to discuss and assess the prospects of your claim further.

By Rachel Gildart, personal injury new business advisor