It’s not unreasonable to want to work in a place that puts safety first and come home free from injuries on a daily basis. Unfortunately, accidents happen because others aren’t maintaining awareness and safety protocols on the worksite. This increases the odds that an accident will happen to you or someone else and put you in a position where you need to enforce your rights when it comes to staying free from injury. Being proactive helps you avoid a work accident and make the workplace safer for you and everyone else. Here’s how.
How to Avoid an Accident at Work
The workplace, whether it’s an office or construction site, comes with hazards that can cause injuries to the unaware. Exercising caution, keeping your eyes open, and taking preventative actions in any setting will help you avoid an accident. Maybe you’re working in an office and notice that someone’s left a file drawer open and walked away. Close that drawer so someone else won’t trip or walk into it. Working on a job site and there’s a pile of debris that no one’s taken care of? Sweep it up and shovel it into a trash can. Here are some tips to avoid an accident at work:
Look around your workplace. Do you see things that could cause harm if not corrected? Take steps to fix the issue and keep people safe. If the hazard is an ongoing issue, bring it to the attention of the appropriate responsible party and have them enforce safety protocols.
Take Your Time and Don’t Rush the Project
Take it easy and slow when you’re working on a project. Rushing to get something done makes you more likely to use shortcuts that, while saving you time, can put you at risk of injury. When you know you’re going to run short on time, ask for help to get the job done and done right.
Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Always wear PPE when you’re on a job that requires its use, and only take it off when you’re on a break and away from your worksite. PPE provides passive protection to the areas of your body that are most at risk while you perform your duties. You never know when an accident will happen which makes wearing PPE in a hazardous situation a must.
Be Aware of Discrimination at Work
Unfortunately, discrimination is an issue that many people face on a daily basis at their job. If you’re a target for discrimination at work, pay close attention to your safety and surroundings to avoid an accident. It’s rare for someone to take their discrimination and dislike to the level of intentionally causing harm, but people are more likely to ignore you and not inform you of problems in your safety gear or unsafe conditions. Be proactive and always check before you begin your work and/or put on your safety gear.
Apps to Help in Case of a Fall
Falls are the leading cause of death for construction workers, and almost half of those deaths happen in companies that have less than ten employees or are self-employed. Anyone who steps onto a ladder works on a high rise building, or steps onto a scaffold are at risk of a fall. Safety harnesses are the first line of defense in preventing serious injuries or death as the result of a fall, and using a fall alert app helps make the safety harness more effective. Here are some apps to help with fall detection:
- FallSafety Pro: The app features an algorithm that detects falls and person-down incidents. It uses the accelerometer on the smartphone to determine a fall and sends out an alert if the worker fails to turn off an alarm. For Android and iPhone with iWatch connectivity.
- Fall Detection: This app is simple but effective. When the phone detects a fall, the app sets off an alarm and flashlight alerts to attract attention and send out an emergency message to specific contacts. Android only.
- StaySafe lone worker: StaySafe’s lone worker app turns the smartphone into a comprehensive safety device. It monitors activities from falls to travel time and allows for third-party monitoring to determine the status of a lone worker. If the worker fails to respond or doesn’t move for a period of time, the app sends out alerts. For iPhone and Android.
What to Do if You’ve Been Injured at Work
In the event you’ve suffered an injury while working, you need to take action if you are able to do so. Call emergency services if you can or call for help until you get a response from someone. If you’re using an app on your smartphone for emergency situations, don’t interfere with its operation until it’s completed sending out the alerts. Getting help for your injuries is the number one priority after an accident and time is of the essence.
Don’t concern yourself with work in the days that follow an injury. If you’re capable of communication, keep in touch with those at work to let them know your current status as a courtesy, but don’t offer medical information apart from how your injuries affect your ability to return to work. It can take time for the full extent of the injuries to be known and how they will affect your mobility. You protect yourself by limiting the information you tell people.
You will need to file a workers’ compensation claim because you were injured at work and have been rendered unable to work for an unknown period of time. Filing for workers’ compensation helps you pay your bills while you focus on getting better. It’s a good idea to file the claim as soon as you’re able to so you can start receiving benefits sooner than later.
Accidents are avoidable when safety is put first. Train your eye to recognize hazards when you see them, take action to clear the hazard, let superiors or safety officers know, and always put yourself first on the job. Just because you’re aware of hazards doesn’t mean that everyone else is.