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  • Writer's pictureTara Lennox

Go Home Safe After Work!

Proper safety involves more than just following instructions. Safety can be greatly impacted by just one person. YOU are responsible and you can make a difference – keep these things in mind:

The 3 R’s – Your Rights

Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) Act details every worker’s 3 basic rights:

1.    The right to know about hazards in the workplace and to have basic health and safety information accessible to them

2.    The right to participate in health and safety discussions and committees

3.    The right to refuse unsafe work and know that they will not face retaliation

Education is key for workplace safety. How could an employee avoid a hazard that they did not know about? How would an employee know what to do in the case of an incident if they were not taught? Don’t just do things that everyone else does – understand the hazards and how to avoid them.

While the responsibility to train falls on the employer, employees must know that they have the right to refuse work that they feel may be unsafe. You do not have to go along with management regardless of danger – always keep your own safety at the front of your mind. Your family wants you to come home at the end of the day. It is as basic as that.

The Gut Test

The most important thing you can do to lower risks is to trust your gut. We’ve all experienced a gut feeling telling us something was wrong – you probably weren’t sure why, but you knew something wasn’t right. Our guts are much better alarm systems than we give them credit for – please listen.

If you have a sinking feeling, stop! Trusting your intuition will at least give you extra time to assess the situation if nothing else. 

Know Your PPE

Be aware of the personal protective equipment that your position requires and do not work without it. Period.

Do you work on a dusty factory floor? You likely need to be wearing protective eyewear and a respirator mask to protect your lungs.

Are you an office worker? You may need an ergonomic keyboard and mousepad to prevent long term damage (like arthritis).

If a hazard cannot be removed, substituted, or controlled, PPE is necessary to reduce any risks. There is no piece of PPE too large or too small!

Unsafe Workplaces

It is dangerous when people become too comfortable. In a work environment where “it’s okay because everyone does it,” do not allow yourself to become complicit. It is never worth it to take a risk for the sake of efficiency or productivity. Your life is always more important than your work output.

Normalizing risk taking is dangerous, irresponsible and just plain dumb. It is not “cool”.. Just because someone didn’t get hurt this time doesn’t mean it’s okay to put yourself in harm’s way next time. Eventually, someone will get hurt. Google Candace Carnahan – you will know what I mean.

Don’t be a silent bystander – if you come across a hazard in your workplace, report it to your supervisor immediately. Do not assume that someone else will report it. What if everyone else who noticed also has this same train of thought, and it never gets reported? It’s better for an incident to be reported multiple times than for it to go unreported and result in more incidents in the future. Don’t be afraid to speak up – you may end up saving someone’s life!

safety, work safety, cor, safety at work, safe job,
Never underestimate your role in making (and keeping) your workplace a safe place! Above all USE COMMON SENSE!


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