Safety on the job site is everyone’s concern. If you become aware of a safety hazard or have a concern about a work area that you feel is dangerous, then you have an obligation to report it immediately to your supervisor. Especially in a hectic, noisy work area, an equipment operator may not even notice a hazardous situation. By reporting the danger, you may be saving someone’s life.
Hazards relating to equipment depend upon the specific work operations as well as the type of industry. Dangerous equipment may be related to: the power supply of the equipment; the condition of the equipment; or the improper use of the equipment.
Power tools create the potential for danger on the job site because they involve the use of electricity. Injuries caused by electrical currents include electrocution, shock, burns, and falls. These injuries can occur when power tools or equipment have frayed or damaged cords, or cracks in the handle. If you become aware of damaged equipment, you need to report it immediately.
Gasoline is another source of potential danger on the work site. Gasoline is extremely flammable and can easily ignite at room temperature, even in small quantities. Especially in an indoor location, if you see equipment leaking gasoline, find a supervisor and let them know.
The physical condition and maintenance level of equipment also provides a good indication of the safety of that machine or vehicle. Loud squeaking or squealing noises, grinding sounds, or the appearance of rust are also evidence of the poor safety of equipment. Equipment that has been taped together or has loose pieces should also raise a red flag. If you see any of these conditions, report them right away.
Last but not least, you also have an obligation to report unsafe or improper operation of a piece of equipment. The idea is not to get someone else in trouble, but to potentially protect him and those around him from serious injury. Thousands of workers get injured and even die each year from horseplay involving equipment, such as riding on forklifts or just showing off. Don’t become a victim and don’t let your co-workers get hurt either. If you witness inappropriate use of equipment, report it immediately.
Remember that safety is everybody’s concern. If you see it, you need to report it. The life you save may even be your own.