Employee Responsibility: Your Safety is Your Responsibility
People go to work every day, but don’t expect to be injured. Rather, they expect their employer to provide a safe work environment and to ensure protection from job hazards. It certainly isn’t unrealistic. You have a right to a safe and healthful work environment. But employers are not the only ones responsible for your safety. You are, too. We all share the responsibility for encouraging a safety culture to improve behavior and performance in the workplace. We all share accountability to encourage our peers to value safe work practices and safety programs in a positive, proactive way. Here’s how you can do it. Get involved. If you think a job or a task is unsafe, stop the work. If you see something unsafe, report it. Make a commitment today to take an active role in safety. Don’t wait until something happens and an injury takes over your life. You can serve as a good role model to your co-workers for safe work practices and behaviors by:
- Following established health and safety policies and procedures.
- Maintaining your personal work area in a clean and orderly manner.
- Wearing, maintaining and properly storing your personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Make sure you and your co-workers are wear their PPE properly.
- Attending all safety training that your employer offers.
- Volunteering to serve on your Safety Committee.
- Using safe work practices to eliminate slips, trips and falls.
- Lifting safely and helping others to do the same.
- Labeling all chemical containers and becoming familiar with material safety data sheets.
- Knowing evacuation procedures and the location of emergency equipment.
Speak up. Talk to your supervisor if you have any concerns. No one knows your job and tools better than you do. Never operate equipment or machinery unless you’ve been properly trained. Give suggestions to make a process or equipment safer. Immediately notify your co-workers and supervisor of any damaged equipment, hazardous conditions or unsafe behavior. Promptly report all injuries, illnesses and near misses to your supervisor. By getting involved and speaking up, you’ll gain confidence, leadership skills and a sense of ownership that will help you identify job hazards and take the appropriate precautions to protect yourself and others. That’s being responsible at work.