World Day for Safety and Health at Work: Tips to Prevent Injuries
As organizations mark World Day for Safety and Health at Work today, safety leaders at DuPont share 10 ways individuals can personally reduce injuries at work. World Day for Safety and Health at Work is an international campaign to promote safe, healthy and decent work.
“You can’t be safe if your workplace is unsafe, but even a safe workplace will not keep you from harm if you do not take personal responsibility,” said Jim Weigand, vice president and general manager of DuPont Safety Resources, the company’s consulting and training business that has worked with thousands of organizations globally to improve workplace safety. "The vast majority of injuries are due to the unsafe actions of people.”
Here are 10 reminders for individuals to help prevent injuries:
1. Be aware. Being aware of your surroundings, potential hazards and your fellow colleagues is one of the best ways to prevent injuries. Distractions cause accidents. Anticipating versus reacting will help keep you safe and bring you home to your family.
2. Think it through. Before you start a task take a couple of minutes to think through what you’re about to do. Do you know the correct procedure, the protective equipment required, and the potential hazards to you and to others?
3. Address unsafe actions and conditions when you see them, for your safety and the safety of others. Don’t be afraid to speak up when you see something unsafe – you could be preventing an injury.
4. Use personal protective equipment as prescribed. The proper gloves, glasses, clothing, shoes and respirators are an important part of keeping you safe, but only if they are used and worn as intended. And they are your last line of defense, not a substitute for removing a hazard.
5. Be aware of your body position. Move your body in the right way. Keep out of the way of hazards, such as moving equipment and sharp objects. Using the right gloves is important, but gloves do not protect hands from being crushed or punctured. And don’t forget that repetitive motions can cause injuries.
6. Use the right tool for the right job. The proper tools and equipment help you avoid hazards and prevent risk. For example, when you’re using a ladder, make sure the ladder is set properly to prevent it from tipping. Be careful not to overreach. And have another person assist you when necessary.
7. Follow procedures for safe work. It may take a little extra time, but shortcuts put you at risk. Locking-out machinery and using guards helps keep you safe from moving parts. Don’t cut corners and by-pass these important safeguards.
8. Stay in shape. Keeping your core muscles in shape – whether you have a desk or physical job -- is important to prevent injuries. Core muscle strength helps maintain balance, flexibility and strength. Take a few moments to stretch, make sure you know the limitations of your body and maintain good posture.
9. Watch your step. Ice, water, and spills are the most common causes of slips, trips and falls. And steps can be particularly dangerous, so make sure you always use a handrail.
10. Practice safe driving. Many people get hurt driving on the job by not obeying traffic laws. And distractions such as cell phones are responsible for the rising number of automobile accidents. Visit the April is Driving Safety Month webpage or click here to watch a video for more information.
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