Staying safe in the workplace is the law. Each time you start a new job, it seems you cannot move for regulations and safety measures. This information usually forms part of your orientation training day, where you are shown a video of a person in a high visibility vest lifting a large but empty cardboard box in a well-lit meeting room. As useful as it is to be reminded to bend from the knee and not from the back when lifting boxes of any weight, one can’t help but think “this video doesn’t show the fast pace of real hazards in a real-life work place”. Check out our top five mustn’t ignore list of workplace safety tips.

1. Personal Protection

This one is an obvious one to begin with for any employee who spends his or her day operating machinery. Safety glasses, safety boots, safety gloves, and even a safety net or confined space breathing equipment depending on your type of work, can all be easily overlooked in the throes of getting the job done. Whatever it is you are required to wear to stay safe, make sure you keep it to hand in a dedicated storage area – easy access to protection equipment will significantly increase your chances of keeping safe, no matter how many times you must take it off and put it back on again between tasks. 

2. Machine Guards and Training

Machine guards are in place for a reason. Removing a guard in certain situations may increase your hourly output, but this will not hold up in a court of law following an accident. Stay safe and stay legally protected against accidental injury.

3. Fire Safety Drills

If you work in a large work place, particularly in a factory or a multi-story office block, you may think that the exits are multiple and easy to reach at all times. However, work place fires are unlikely to occur without having been caused by an accident such as an explosion or collapse. This kind of structural damage can significantly change the landscape of the workplace to which you have become accustomed. Having as many back-up escape routes in mind as possible could save your life. Suggest regular drills highlighting alternative escape routes to your line manager.

4. Correct Lighting

OK, we know this one is hardly a make or break life saver a daily basis. However, inadequate lighting is one of the main causes of workplace related diseases, leading to headaches, poor eye sight, increased stress, and even migraines. Ensure you are working under satisfactory lighting to avoid increased health risks over the months and years.

5. Safety Signs

Well placed safety signs can help to prevent all manner of accidents in the workplace. From a mind your head sign and warnings of a sudden incline at the foot of ramps, to increasingly more serious warning signage advising people of potential mechanical, chemical, or animal dangers, make sure your workplace is fully stocked to ensure people do not get caught out when they least expect it.