5 Things to Avoid to Stay Safe at Work

No one should ever expect to experience an accident at work. Yet, they can happen in every type of industry, from an office to an industrial setting.

While your employer has a responsibility to create a safe and secure working environment, there are things you can do to decrease your risk of experiencing an injury or illness in the workplace.

To improve your personal safety, here are five things to avoid to stay safe at work.

1. Poor Equipment or Furniture 

Every business owner has a duty of care to provide their staff with the appropriate equipment and furniture for their job. For example, office workers are entitled to ergonomically designed furniture, which can prevent and relieve muscle strain while improving their posture.

If you are unhappy with the furniture provided, as it provides little ergonomic support, talk to your employer to rectify the issue as soon as possible.

2. Asbestos 

If you disturb or damage a material that contains asbestos, the fibres will be released into the air. If inhaled, it can lead to the development of serious and fatal diseases, such as asbestosis and mesothelioma.

While the dangers of asbestos have been widely reported, the building material continues to kill around 5,000 workers every year, which is more than the number of people who are killed on the road. In fact, 20 tradespeople die every week due to past exposure.

If you or a loved one have come into contact with asbestos at work and have developed a serious or fatal health condition, as a result, learn more about industrial injury compensation.

3. Occupational Stress 

Excessive stress at work can damage almost every aspect of your life, as it can impact your self-confidence and eat into your home life. Unfortunately, many people are living with occupational stress, which could be caused by:

  • A heavy workload 
  • Bullying at work 
  • Harassment 
  • Long hours 
  • Workplace conflict 

Unfortunately, occupational stress can lead to depression, anxiety, concentration issues, and sleeping problems. If you are feeling overly stressed at work, it’s essential to speak to your employer to improve your environment.

4. Alcohol and Drugs 

Alcohol is reportedly a factor in one in four workplace accidents in the UK, which could potentially lead to fatalities on the job.

Every employee, therefore, has a responsibility to avoid alcohol before and during working hours to maintain their health and safety on site.

Employers should also enforce a strict drug and alcohol abuse policy, especially if employees are responsible for handling heavy machinery.

5. Manually Lifting Heavy Objects 

Manually lifting, pulling or pushing heavy objects can lead to muscle strains or injuries, which can pose a serious risk to both your own and other people’s health and safety on site.

Rather than attempting to lift a heavy object alone, use a mechanical aid when possible, such as a forklift, wheelbarrow, or conveyor belt.

If you need to pick up and carry a heavy load or object, ensure it is kept close to your body, bend your knees and life with your legs, not your back.