It is a sad truth that you spend more time at work, or on the way to work than you do just about any other place. It is almost like a second home. If you discount sleeping hours, then you definitely spend most of your conscious time either at work or thinking about work. Surveys that have been taken recently have shown that many workers feel like they are overworked and undervalued. If you are already feeling like this, the last thing you want to do is get injured at work because of their laxness or someone else’s negligence. Here are just a few things that your employer should be provided to ensure your safety in the workplace.
Anything you need for work should be provided by your employer especially if it is specialist equipment. Items such as hi-vis clothing, hard hats, work gloves, safety boots, and safety goggles should all be presented to you before you step on-site or into your workspace if they are required. This takes any liability off of you if part of the PPE you are using fails in some way. It also allows your employer to be sure that the equipment you are using is up to safety standards. If you are injured because you weren’t wearing it then they are fully protected. However, if you are injured due to faulty PPE then you have the right to make a claim against your employer. There should be regular checks of your PPE to make sure it is up to standard.
A good safety culture
You should be able to walk into your workplace and feel immediately you know what processes to follow so that you can stay safe at work. It should be one of the first questions you ask your employer. What are the safety measures in place in this organization? If you are unsure, then they are already failing. Never forget there is always room for improvement. If it is not clear what the safety procedures are then it is not because you are too stupid to understand. It is because they are not clear to everyone. Your employer should welcome this feedback. If they don’t it may be that your safety is not one of their concerns. Make sure that they hold open safety discussions and offer regular training.
This is a huge one. Health and safety at work is not a tick-box exercise that can be completed once and then forgotten about. It should be reviewed regularly and signed off only when appropriate training has been delivered. You should undergo comprehensive training protocols on health and safety. Things like first aid, fire safety, machine operations, and emergency drills should all be covered. As well as this, you should have access to any training materials that are provided and should be able to see the documents outlaying their plans for emergencies and accidents. If your workplace doesn’t have these then you need to question this.
If you work in an active industry like construction, then it is likely that hazards arrive all the time. It is impossible to prevent them all. However, they can all be managed. You as an employee should be encouraged to look out for hazards and to report them as soon as you see them. Your employer should then take every reasonable step to either deal with the hazard or prevent people from being harmed by it. If your employer is happy for you to work in an area with a hazard to your health, then you are entitled to say that you don’t feel safe and to request that the situation be managed before work continues. Do not put yourself at risk.
Safety signage is a great way to point out where potential hazards may be or that you are operating within an area of a known hazard. The fact there are safety signs implies that your employer has investigated it and done everything it can to prevent it. Pay attention to any signs and labels that you come across and put up more if you identify a future potential risk.
Safety in the workplace
You will often hear the phrase that health and safety have gone mad. However, this is only because there is more of an effort to protect the employee rather than the employer. You should be able to leave for work in the morning without feeling scared you aren’t going to make it back. Your employer should want you to feel safe whenever you are working.