While many of us may not consider going to work as a dangerous or highly risky endeavour, it is important to keep your wits about you to avoid injury – no matter what your profession.
Industries such as mining and construction are often associated with injury, but even office workers can be hurt if they do not follow health and safety regulations.
For example, if your desk chair is not set to the right height, this could lead to lower back pain or a sore neck.
This is why it is always important to speak to your employer about any discomfort, and be aware of any workplace health and safety rules and guidelines.
Here are a few tips that can help you stay safe at work.
If you are unsure, ask
It is part of your employer's job to provide you with health and safety information. From advising you on what to do in case of an emergency, to ensuring that you are wearing the correct protective gear, they have certain responsibilities so that the risk of employee injury is minimised.
That said, most employers have special health and safety meetings – and these could be months apart.
This is why it is important to ask immediately if you are feeling unsafe, experiencing any discomfort or are simply unsure about how to operate a piece of machinery or wear certain gear.
The few minutes it takes out of your day to ask for clarification may save you from injury further down the track.
Always wear protective gear
In certain industries, wearing the right gear is absolutely essential. Imagine if you worked in construction and fell from a tall stand when you were not wearing a helmet?
Or how about working with chemicals without gloves or a face mask?
Make sure that you understand what gear you are required to wear, and follow the rules at all times – they are in place for a reason.
Stay alert and focused
Try to stay focused on the job in front of you, rather than letting yourself drift off or get distracted.
Certain tasks require a lot of concentration, and looking away from the project at hand for even a few seconds might increase your risk of injury.
If any of your colleagues are making it hard for you to stay focused then speak with your employer, they may be able to find a solution.
These above tips can help you look after yourself in the workplace, however if you are injured then it is possible your employer may be held liable.
In these cases, it is worth exploring whether or not you are eligible for compensation.
There are lawyers in Sydney that operate on a no win no fee basis, who can help you make a claim.