This week in celebration of World Safety Day and as we make plans for a return to campus it is important to remember how to keep ourselves and others safe on the job. While we’ve gotten pretty good at safety measures surrounding COVID-19, let’s not forget about everyday work safety.
“It is Cal Poly’s duty to provide a safe and healthy workplace for every single employee.” Director of Environmental Health and Safety David Korpan said. “When university employees leave for work each morning they should always return home in good health. A safe workplace promotes a good wellbeing for both the employees and employers so that everyone can work to the best of their abilities.”
April 28 is World Day for Safety and Health at Work, also known as World Safety Day. Practicing safety at work is always necessary in order to avoid any injuries or health complications. With that in mind Cal Poly Environmental Health and Safety put together a list of their Top 11 Safety Tips.
- Keep work areas clean. Proper housekeeping alone can go a long way in preventing injuries. Injuries such as slips, trips, falls, lacerations, sprains, strains, etc. can be reduced from keeping work areas organized and clean.
- Use the proper tool for the job. Avoid the first impulse to use whatever tool, or object, around you to get a work task done. Using the wrong tool for the job can result in an injury or damage to the tool which can lead to an injury in the future.
- Always wear the proper PPE for the work task. Lack of PPE, or the use of improper PPE, leads to many injuries in the workplace. PPE is the last line of defense when protecting yourself from the hazards of your work. Injuries will be much more severe If you come into contact with a hazard when not wearing the correct PPE.
- Never work on live equipment. Working on energized equipment is an unsafe act that can result in serious injuries or fatalities. Always follow proper lock out tag out procedures prior to performing any maintenance or repair work on equipment.
- Make sure chemicals are properly labeled and stored. Improper labeling and storage can lead to injuries or property loss due to fires, corrosion, etc.
- Stop work when needed to address hazards. Always stop work to take the time to get hazards addressed to make it safe to continue the task. Whether you need to involve other personnel such as a supervisor or you need to take time to get the right tool for the job, always take the time to do so.
- Communicate hazards to other personnel. Never assume that a coworker understands the hazards of a task especially if they are new or new to the task.
- Wear your hair up and avoid loose clothing when operating any machinery. Common workplace injuries often come from machine accidents. Make sure you know how to properly operate the machine you are working with.
- When operating a golf cart or bike follow traffic rules. Pretend as though you are driving a car when you ride your bike or operate a golf cart.
- Ask questions when you are unsure. If you are doubtful about a work procedure, ask someone just to double check.
- Maintain an ergonomic workspace. This is especially important when you are working virtually. This entails maintaining good posture, getting a supportive office chair, or even wearing blue light glasses.
Remember to celebrate World Safety Day not only on April 28, but every day! To see workplace safety in action, check out the Safety Day video from the EH&S team.