safety procedures

Four universal safety rules that apply to every workplace

Posted on 27th Sep, 2018 | By Lorretta Tatham

It’s true that some industries are more dangerous than others. In fact, it’s a topic we’ve covered in some detail before. Agriculture and construction, for example, will always be more risky than most office-based jobs. However, no matter what industry you work in or what you do for a living, there are certain universal safety rules that are applicable to every workplace. The most important four are below!

It’s crucial to maintain awareness

This may sound like quite a vague one to start off with, but bear with us! When we talk about awareness, we’re not just talking about being conscious of your immediate surroundings (although that’s obviously important, too). It’s also about understanding the risks associated with your job, your environment and your industry, and what safeguards are in place to protect you.

Employers are obligated to keep their workers appraised of health and safety procedures – including any changes in the law – but at the same time, employees must take some personal responsibility in following them. It’s true that those in more physical industries are often exposed to increased risk, but office workers aren’t immune to going sprawling over a loose cable or a wet floor. Maintaining awareness is always vital!

wet floor

Never take shortcuts on safety procedures

Impatience and sometimes laziness can be huge contributory factors to accidents in the workplace – and if you know the procedures, there’s really no excuse for ignoring them! To revisit one of our above examples, even something as simple as neglecting to put out a wet floor sign before you clean up a spill, can lead to a nasty fall. In the best case scenario, that can lead to a lot of shouting, and in the worst (and arguably more common case) serious injury. Leaving safety catches off machines for the sake of convenience, or leaving active machinery unattended for even a brief period, can have similarly disastrous consequences.

Make sure you’re properly equipped for the job

This is one that all workers in physical industries (such as construction) will know. It’s vital to avail yourself of the most suitable tools for the task at hand. PPE, or personal protective equipment, is one of the most obvious examples of this, but don’t forget these tools and equipment don’t have to be particularly complex either.

personal protective equipment

Wheelbarrows, trolleys and ladders are all great instances of equipment which are frequently overlooked in the undertaking of physical tasks, and can save you from pulled muscles, aching limbs or even something more serious, such as a slipped disc.

Ensure first aid provisions are always available

By law, all workplaces are required to have a fully trained first aid officer on site, so that they can be on hand to assist immediately in case of emergency. However, if that person is absent for whatever reason – whether they’re on holiday, away in a meeting or off sick themselves – then it’s the employer’s responsibility to ensure that first aid can still be administered. It doesn’t matter for how long the primary first-aider is gone for; when an emergency occurs, it’s important to know how to deal with it. For those reasons, it doesn’t hurt to have multiple people on site trained in first aid. Here at Browns Safety, we offer a multitude of first aid at work training courses, from quick one-day refresher courses to more in-depth 3-day first aid at work courses.

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