When it comes to accident prevention in the workplace, you are your brother’s keeper. You have a responsibility to make sure that the co-workers around you, or those who use the same tools, equipment or materials that you do, are not injured because of your negligence. Furthermore, to make the workplace as safe as possible for everyone, all workers need to keep their eyes open for any dangerous situations in their midst.
Keep the following in mind to make your workplace as safe as possible:
- Warn a worker who is in a dangerous position. Sometimes inexperience can cause a worker to perform a task in a manner that might result in injury. If you see this happening, don’t just explain to your co-worker what he or she is doing wrong; demonstrate the right way to do it.
- Call attention to a task if a worker seems distracted. Conversation and noise can present serious distractions. If a co-worker seems not to be paying attention to the task at hand, go over and try to gently re-focus his or her attention.
- Set a good example. Always use tools and equipment in the intended manner. Never joke around when handling tools or equipment. Remember, younger co-workers can be influenced by the behavior they see in their older peers.
- Keep machine guards in place. Machines usually have moving parts that might accidentally come into contact with a worker’s body. When this happens, the worker can be killed or maimed. Machine guards prevent contact with moving parts during the normal operation of the machine.
- Report tool/equipment defects to your supervisor. Continuing to use a defective tool or piece of equipment instead of reporting it could result in possible injury to you or a co-worker.
- Encourage co-workers to report every injury. Sometimes an injury that seems insignificant can escalate down the road. If an accident is not reported at the time it occurs, it might not be covered by insurance if it is reported at a later date.
- Encourage co-workers to wear personal protective equipment (PPE). Your employer provides PPE so that you will be protected. Always wear it if it’s necessary for the task being performed. Ask co-workers to wear it as well.
- Ask questions if you are confused about what you have been asked to do. Never perform a task unless you are completely sure of the correct way to do it. Ask your supervisor to show you the proper method.
- Take safety suggestions in the cooperative spirit in which they are made. Co-workers are responsible for each other’s safety. If a suggestion is made about the way in which you are performing a task, don’t respond with anger. Instead, thank the co-worker making the suggestion for caring enough about your personal safety to take the time to correct you.
When all workers look out for themselves and others, everyone’s safety is enhanced.