Looking after yourself in the workplace is important to do because not all employers will be hot on the health and safety of their staff. We all have different needs and expectations when it comes to our jobs, and our jobs can range to a variety of different industries that all vary in their degree of danger. It’s worth knowing some helpful tips on how to keep yourself safe within the workplace.
Here are some tips to keep yourself safe in the workplace, wherever that may be.
Check Health & Safety Procedures Are In Place
With any job, the most important to thing focus your attention on when you join is the health and safety procedures are in place. A workstation assessment is usually conducted to assess your own needs and requirements when it comes to the location of your work.
If you’re actively working at a desk, you’re going to need to make sure the keyboard and mouse have the right support for your wrists, and the monitor is placed at the right angle for your posture and view.
If any of these aren’t in place, then it could hinder your ability when it comes to operating in the workplace comfortably. Over a long period of time, it could really affect your health, and that’s something that the organization would be responsible for if you ever were to take legal action.
Of course, most would want to avoid that from happening so make sure you’re checking you have the proper introduction to health and safety. If not, then it’s worth flagging that up with HR to check why.
It could be a simple admin error and that you’ve been forgotten about. It’s also worth checking whether any relevant training towards equipment and the job itself will be needed in order to operate everything properly whilst in a safe manner also.
Take Regular Breaks
Regular breaks are definitely key when it comes to your safety.
We all need a bit of relaxation time from work, and so if you’re constantly working for hours on end, you’re naturally going to burn out. It’s important to find time in the day to step away from your desk, and this excludes your lunchtime break too.
A lot of people will opt to have their lunch at the desk too, but this should be avoided at all costs. You need a break from answering the phone or dealing with any work emails that come through while you’re trying to enjoy your food.
In regards to breaks throughout the day, it could be a five or ten-minute break where you simply take the time to make a drink or have a walk around the block to stretch your legs.
Regular breaks are key and essential when it comes to maintaining your health and sanity whilst working. No one can work for hours on end at 100%, we’re only human after all!
Understand Risks In The Job
Each job has a certain degree of risk.
Even with the humble reception job, you may have deliveries to accept, and that could result in heavy-lifting. Every job is going to have some form of risk factor that you want to acknowledge and help to prevent from injuring you in any way.
It’s worth considering the risks that are in play when it comes to your health and wellbeing to ensure that you don’t get yourself into a situation where it could impact you.
This goes back to also having the right training in order to protect you when operating certain equipment or machinery that’s required for the job at hand. Take note of what’s at stake if something goes wrong because it might not just be your own wellbeing that’s at risk but that of your colleagues too.
If you’re ever unsure about anything, be sure to ask.
Don’t Take On Too Much Work
When it comes to workloads, we’re all capable of certain amounts, and we also know our limits.
It’s important to keep yourself at a comfortable level when it comes to taking on new projects or tasks in your role. Not everyone can manage to balance a huge amount of work at once, and some can really suffer when it comes to stress.
Know your limits as an individual and don’t be embarrassed or feel ashamed for saying no if you’ve already got a lot on your plate. If you are feeling overwhelmed, then it might be important to talk to your supervisor or manager to discuss what can be done.
Your employer will not want to see you suffering or it resulting in you having to go off sick as a result of being overworked. That’s not good from an HR, and legal standpoint, so make it known that you’re struggling whenever you can.
Know Your Limits
This can be in relation to the amount of work you take on, but it’s also from a physical standpoint too.
When you’re carrying or picking things up in the workplace, it’s important that what you lift is done in the correct manner and that you’re not causing yourself any injury as a result.
If you’ve been forced to pick something up without having the available equipment to help you, then this might be something you can pick up legally if you get injured as a result. Do You Have a Workers Comp Case?
It’s important to know what the case would need in order to carry out a claim and not having the proper equipment and safety procedures in place to help you can certainly count as such. You should also know your limits on what you can carry without the use of assistance.
Don’t push yourself because that could be detrimental to your health. It’s also not something that will necessarily be a claim you can make if you did it knowingly.
Protect Your Back
Your back is a very important part of your body because your spine is what holds up the rest of it.
To do any sort of damage to it could certainly impair your ability within the workplace but also in your personal life too. And with that, it’s essential that you’re protecting your back however you can do both for by yourself and with the help of your company.
As mentioned already, your workplace station should have all the necessary accessories to look after your health.
For your back, you might want to check you have the right computer chair that supports your entire back and when it comes to picking up things, you want to ensure you use the proper squatting and lifting method to reduce the chance of injury.
Keep Your Workspace Clutter-Free
Keeping your workspace clutter-free is a simple way of looking after your surroundings and putting in your own preventative measures when it comes to your safety.
If you’re cluttering the space, you could be causing yourself some tripping hazards, and that’s definitely not what you want to happen. Be active in your ability to keep your working area clean and to ensure that the floor space holds no danger to you as you come and go throughout the day.
Clear out any rubbish as you go so that you’re workstation is always kept in pristine condition. If you did trip over or fall, then there might be an argument that you weren’t being responsible in your own due diligence in keeping it clean and tidy.
Do First-Aid Training
First-aid training is a skill that’s worth having, especially when you’re working in an environment that carries a lot of risks.
Some employers will offer it on a sporadic basis to certain staff members who say yes to doing it, whilst others may put every single staff member on a training course within their first year of employment.
Doing first-aid training can be beneficial, and it’s worth doing for your own personal development.
It’s also something that can be carried out into the rest of your world whether that’s on your commute, out and about in public, or at home. With first-aid training, you are obliged to help in a situation that warrants it. There are different lengths of courses and refreshers courses that are worth taking at times where you may be fuzzy in some of the knowledge you learned.
It’s worth doing though so be sure to discuss this with your employer to see if it’s available for you to do.
Keeping yourself safe in the workplace is certainly an essential part of looking after oneself at all times. Be sure to check that all the relevant safety procedures and training are in place and given to help protect you.
Be wary of your own surroundings and the responsibilities you have to your safety and that of others too. Check to see if you can do first-aid training and be careful not to take on too much at once for the sake of your mental wellbeing. Hopefully, these tips will help keep you safe whilst working.