Protect your hands
They’re a valuable asset that must be protected.
Most jobs require that you use your hands in some way. In fact, next to your eyes your hands are probably the most important part of your body when it comes to doing your job. Your hands are your wage earners, a valuable asset that must be protected. It’s up to you to prevent your hands from being among the over 500,000 injured each year. Your employer helps by developing safety measures to overcome the hand injury hazards in your workplace, but it’s up to you to use them. Play your part in the hand safety effort. Remember, it’s up to you to:
• Wear proper hand protection, for the job. Be sure you know the right kind of glove for the job. If you’re not sure, ask.
• Think through each task before you do — know what you’re asking your hands to do.
• Follow safety rules, even if you’ve gotten away with short cuts before. It only takes one wrong move to suffer a serious hand injury.
• Seek prompt treatment if an accident does occur. Prompt treatment can help prevent more serious consequences, such as an infection from occurring.
• Report all injuries to your supervisor, immediately. He needs to know the specifics of the accident to help prevent if from occurring again.
Keep Your Guard Up
Be a relentless hazard inspector.
Many common workplace accidents occur because people let their guard down. They think nothing bad has happened so far, so nothing could or will happen today or tomorrow. Unfortunately, that isn’t always true. If you stop looking for hazards one of these days, one of them is probably going to get you. How bad you’re hurt will depend on how bad the hazard is. So, don’t let your guard down. Don’t let hazards sneak up on you. Inspect your work area at the beginning of your shift and periodically throughout the workday. Check tools and equipment before you use them. Inspect personal protective equipment (PPE) before each use to make sure they’ll protect you as intended. While you work, keep your guard up and keep checking for potential problems.
In other words, be a hazard inspector all the time. Here are some things to watch for:
• Obvious hazards such as wet floors, poor housekeeping, leaking chemical containers or poorly stacked supplies that could topple over on someone.
• Hidden hazards such as shocks from electrical equipment, burns from surfaces you don’t realize are hot, trips over objects you don’t see and hazardous chemical vapors you can’t see or smell.
• Hazards that weren’t there the last time you looked. Remember that things change all of the time in the workplace.
• New hazards introduced by new procedures or equipment. You’ll learn about new hazards in safety meetings. Then, it’s your job to stay alert for them.
• Old hazards you thought had been corrected. Sometimes fixes don’t work as well as anticipated, and hazards you thought were eliminated can come back to haunt you. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security about safety.
It isn’t hard to protect yourself from hazards when you understand and recognize them. Keep your guard up all the time and inspect, inspect and inspect.
Safety is in Your Hands
Do your share for a safer workplace.
When you think about workplace safety responsibilities, you probably think about all the regulations and requirements OSHA puts on management to identify hazards and protect their employees. It’s true that management does have a big share in the responsibility for workplace safety, yet OSHA also gives employees a share of responsibility for safety as well. In return for the “right to a safe workplace,” OSHA assigns certain specific responsibilities to employees, including the responsibility to:
• Obey OSHA standards.
• Follow workplace safety and health rules.
• Use assigned personal protective equipment (PPE).
• Participate in required safety training.
• Report hazardous conditions to management so they can take swift corrective action.
• Report job-related accidents, injuries and illnesses to your supervisor and get medical attention.
• Cooperate with OSHA inspectors if they inspect your facility.
Beyond OSHA’s responsibilities, we also ask you to:
• Take responsibility for learning everything you need to know about your job and work area so you can always work safely.
• Avoid taking risks and engaging in any unsafe acts.
• Talk to your supervisor any time you have a question about your safety.
• Cooperate in safety inspections and hazard analysis programs.
• Participate in safety committees and other safety initiatives.
• Look for ways to make your job and the workplace safer and make suggestions about how to do that.
If we all do our share and take responsibility for safety of ourselves and co-workers, we can’t fail in our mission to prevent accidents, injuries and work-related illness. It’s a big job and you have to remain vigilant and strive every day to hunt down and eliminate hazards. Working together, you can do it! Won’t you pitch in and join with your co-workers?
These articles are published by RiskControl360° LLC. While the information in this publication has been compiled from sources and documents believed to be reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed, nor is any responsibility assumed or implied for any damage or loss resulting from inaccuracies or omissions. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal advice. You should discuss any legal questions with your attorney.
For more information on RiskControl360° you can reach us at:
Ohio Bureau BWC Representative Nelson Redd
Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation
30 W. Spring St.
Columbus, OH 43215-2256
Risk 360 Represenative
Amy Portis, Group Safety Coordinator
5500 Glendon Ct., Ste 360
Dublin, OH 43016
CareWorks Consultants, Inc.
Theresa S. Passwater, Program Manager
5500 Glendon Ct., Ste 360
Dublin, OH 43016 3017