While it’s true it is your employer’s responsibility to provide you with a safe working environment, any successful workplace safety initiative is going to be the result of a joint effort between management and workers. The responsibility of the employee is two-fold: First, workers need to identify and communicate about unsafe practices and offer ways to improve safety in their workplace. Second, every employee must make well-informed decisions about safety throughout the workday.

The correct use of safety procedures is beneficial to both the company and its workers. Employees, of course, remain injury-free and on the job. Management reaps the benefits of higher productivity and fewer workers’ compensation claims. Both sides are happier in a safe working environment.

Here are three steps workers can take to do their part in ensuring safety in the workplace.

1.Be aware of your surroundings

It’s important to know the hazards within your place of work. Once you have become familiar with these risks, you’ll be able to avoid any potentially dangerous areas or situations. Having a sense of awareness also entails constant communication between workers. When employees are vocal and let others know their location, collision-type accidents can be considerably reduced. When you’re driving machinery, a simple toot of the horn can alert your co-workers of your presence and allow them to stay away from your pathway.

2.Protect your back

If you work in the plant, you will probably be required to lift something at some point. When you do, look at the load to determine the best option for moving it. If you decide to lift it, check the path to your destination to make sure it’s clear and there is enough space for the load at its destination. Use proper lifting techniques (lift with your legs), and don’t allow the load to obstruct your vision.

If you decide to use material handling equipment instead, use it carefully—push the load and lean in the direction you’re traveling. Stay away from forklifts and other powered equipment unless you are trained and authorized.

If you work in an office, sit with your shoulders in line with your hips. Don’t twist or stoop when you pick things up; use correct lifting form. Ergonomically designed furniture is always recommended to save your back.

3.Wear your safety equipment

Safety equipment is provided to you to prevent workplace injury. It may be time-consuming or annoying to wear those safety goggles, a full-face mask, gloves, hardhat or ear plugs, but if they keep you from getting injured, they are well worth the trouble.

Practice and perfect your safety processes

Safety should always be your priority in the workplace. Don’t let your guard down. Stay alert, save your back, and always wear your protective equipment.

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