This is the Big List of Workplace Safety Tips.
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There are many possible safety issues that can occur at your workplace. Sometimes the best workplace safety arises out of simple good planning and smart thinking. Every single workplace should have a safety committee and safety plan in place. If you don't have safety committees at your workplace, then suggest one.
What do you do if your workplace does not have a good system in place? Please follow these steps when you recognize a workplace safety issue which your organization is not properly addressing:
- Ensure that everyone else in your workplace is aware of the issue.
- Inform your supervisor.
- File reports or documents about the problem.
- Follow up. Report it and later follow up to make sure the problem was addressed.
- Your own safety is your personal responsibility.
- Always follow procedures.
- Do not take shortcuts.
- Clean up if you made a mess.
- Organize your work area
- Make sure there is an easy route to emergency exits which is free of obstacles or obstructions
- Be alert
- Be attentive at all times
- When you are unsure of something contact your supervisor or manager for guidance
- Do not take risks when it comes to safety.
- Obey warning signs, stickers, and tags.
- Take short breaks when you are involved in a repetitive motion for a long period of time
- Always sit, stand, or walk with good posture.
- Report serious injuries immediately
- Hazards may be limitless, so focus on the most likely risks first!
- Educate everyone in the workplace about the safety requirements.
- Safety training will help them reduce or eliminate injuries
- Keep the communication lines open with your co-workers to promote and maintain a safe environment.
- Notify others of any (new or old) hazards that you perceive.
- Be alert to hazards that could affect anyone— not just yourself
- Be conscious as to what others are doing around you, and vice versa.
A worker checks his safety harness before climbing to the
top of the Gateway Arch to change the light bulb in the
aviation beacon. Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
- St. Louis, MO, USA
Lifting and Climbing Safely
- Use both hands when lifting a heavy or cumbersome object.
- Adopt a proper stance for lifting: put the strain on your legs, not your back (crouch at your feet, keep your back straight, and don’t bend at the waist). This utilizes more back muscles and distributes the weight more evenly throughout your back in order to reduce the risk of injury to a specific section of your back or spine.
- Test the weight before lifting something; it might be too late if you realize later that it’s too heavy or cumbersome for you. By that time you may have already seriously injured yourself.
- An easy way to do this is to nudge it with your foot first.
- Think about a back brace if the work is heavy.
- Think about moving your feet, not your back, when you want to travel or turn while carrying a heavy load.
- Lift slowly. Lift smoothly.
- Keep your burden close to your body; this creates less strain.
- If your load is too heavy for you to handle alone - Ask For Help!
- Make sure ladders are secure and steady before climbing aboard.
- Do not climb on improvised ladders. Shelves and storage units are poor substitutes. Don’t be lazy, and find a proper solid ladder.
- Do not let appearances fool you. Railings might appear solid and fixed, but they might not be; test them first.
- Use safety harnesses if your job includes heights.
- Eliminate distractions when working on a roof, scaffold, or other elevated platform.
- Keep an eye out on the floor to ensure it’s free of obstacles and spills.
- Use machinery only if you’re authorized and trained to use it.
- Always use the appropriate tool for the task.
- Clean your tools. Keep them in good, working order.
- Organize your tools. Someone could easily slip or get hit due to a misplaced object.
- Always ensure that the operator of a machine sees you
- Do not perform a task unless you’ve been trained and you are aware of the hazards as well as how to mitigate/eliminate them.
- Do not leave machinery running unattended.
- Do not remove safety guards that are in place to protect you and the surrounding area.
- Obey operating instructions.
- If something is wrong, stop the machine immediately; then get assistance.
- Communicate your location and process to those around you, so they’ll know where you are, what you’re doing, and when they need to be getting out of the way.
- Do not walk in front of a forklift, tractor, or any other heavy machine; the operator may not have seen you
- Always read labels and instructions alerting you to potential dangers and hazards.
- Unless it’s your job, never tamper with electric controls, cords, switches, or other hazardous items.
- Dress properly and compactly: billowing, loose, or hanging clothes and accessories (ties, earrings, bracelets, sleeves etc.) may get caught up in moving parts.
- At best, the offending objects may be destroyed; at worst, they could ruin the machine or severely hurt you.
- Do not insert fingers or any other objects that don’t belong into moving machinery.
- Turn off machines and equipment before you even consider cleaning, un-jamming, oiling, adjusting, or moving them.
- Come up with a fire emergency plan; ensure that everyone knows and understands it.
- Practice fire drills.
- Avoid “power strips” which can ignite a fire if overloaded.
- Ventilation is critical, especially if dealing with fumes and chemicals.
- Good ventilation helps to reduce the toxins in the air, and thus to eliminate highly flammable vapors.
- In case of fire, know what has fed the fire.
- Do not fight a grease fire with water; water will splash the oil and spread the flames.
- Be aware of the whereabouts and use of fire extinguishers.
A simple hard hat like this can protect your noggin.
Gearing Up for Safety
- Always wear appropriate clothing and shoes respective to your job.
- Fire extinguishers must be available and readily attainable.
- First aid kits must be available and readily attainable.
- Do not remove or tamper with safety devices.
- Use a back brace if you’re lifting heavy objects or you’ve got a sensitive back.
- A hard hat will protect you if there’s a risk of falling objects
- Wear gloves if you’re handling sharp objects or toxic substances.
- Wear goggles if your work poses a hazard to your eyes.
- Wear safety harnesses if you’re working from an elevated location and there’s the risk of falling.
- Wear non-skid footgear:
- If your workspace involves slippery surfaces (kitchens, spas, pools, etc.)
- If you’re lifting heavy items
- Wear a breathing mask at all times, especially if:
- You deal with dangerous or toxic chemicals or fumes
- Your workspace has poor ventilation
- Your workspace has debris, dust, and other flying particles.
- Wear the protective equipment that is intended and recommended for your particular task.
- Seat belts
- Safety glasses or goggles
- Protective clothing, headgear, and/or footgear
- Safety harnesses, etc.
Tips on How To Conduct A Safety Meeting
A safety meeting is an opportunity to discuss a specific safety and health topic in an informal setting. It's intended to be participatory, encouraging questions and discussion and drawing on workers' experience. It's not a lecture and there are no tests. The safety meeting can be short (10-20 minutes) and it can be part of an existing staff or crew meeting.
Safety meeting conducted at CAMP LEJEUNE, NC, US
Before you being the meeting:
- Does this topic relate to your workplace? If not, choose another topic.
- Look up your company rules or policies about this topic.
- Find out about any injuries, accidents or close calls in your company related to this topic.
- Do not hand out copies of the Safety Tip until after the meeting. You want workers to contribute their own ideas, not read off the sheet.
Begin the meeting:
- Ask if anyone has a personal story about this topic. Or add one of your own. Get people involved. The meeting will work best if everyone participates.
- Discuss any problems at your workplace related to this topic. Ask: “Do you know of any problems with (this topic) at this workplace?” This might be a good time to bring up the injuries, accidents or close calls you found out about. Invite questions --- Remind people that there's no such thing as a stupid question.
- Ask: “Have you had any experience with (this topic) here or at other places you’ve worked that might help us work safer here?”
- If the company has rules or procedures around this topic, discuss them now.
- Ask if there’s anything else anyone wants to mention on this topic. Stick to the topic. If questions and comments stray from the meeting topic, tell people their questions will be addressed later, either privately or at a future safety meeting.
- Before you close, remind workers how to report any safety problems at your workplace.
For a free list of Safety Tip Sheets featuring fire safety related tips, please visit NFPA's Safety Tip Sheet web page: