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Preventing On the Job Injuries Before they Occur

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Planning is Key

Let’s face it, in the grand scheme of things nobody wants to get hurt at work. Even though some paid time off might sound appealing at first glance, most people give up that train of thought as soon as the idea of the pain and suffering that would be involved kicks in. While a lot of your safety in any given job is the responsibility of your employer, there are best practices that you can employ to help prevent on the job injuries before they happen.

Knowledge is Power

No matter what level of “danger” your job possesses, you need to educate yourself on several aspects of it to help you avid on the job injuries. First, familiarize yourself fully with the safety guidelines for both your job as well as the building/job site, and then practice what it preaches by conforming to them at all times. The guidelines are in place for a reason, sometimes due to the direct fact that someone else previously made the mistake referenced and it resulted in injury, and they generally aren’t merely suggestions.

Be aware of any hazards that your position may entail. Whether or not they are pointed out in the safety guidelines, you need to be on the lookout for any and all potential threats. You can help yourself, as well as your employer, identify any possible hazards by creating or utilizing a workplace safety analysis checklist or by reviewing all previous workplace injuries involving your position.

Even if your job simply involves working behind a desk and computer all day, you need to be conscious of recommended safety guidelines. This includes your actual office equipment as well as becoming knowledgeable of proper ergonomics and ensuring that you utilize small breaks throughout the day to get up and move around. Don’t limit your thinking of on the job injuries to simply accidents or that they are restricted to those performing “manual labor” type jobs. If you fail to educate yourself about your job and duties, injuries can happen to those responsible for even the most mundane of tasks.

You’ve Heard It All Your Life - Get Plenty Of Rest

In order to prevent on the job injuries, especially if you work in a high-risk type job, you need to ensure that you’re well rested for the workday. Lack of sleep can result in you becoming easily distracted, or not focusing properly on the task at hand. While we all have the occasional restless night, you should make it a habit to attempt to get to bed early enough to give yourself an opportunity to get a minimum of 6 hours a sleep each work night.

Wear Your Safety Equipment

No matter how “silly” you feel while wearing them, if worn correctly your Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) can dramatically reduce your risk of on the job injury. Whether it’s something as critical as a hard hat, safety goggles, or earplugs, or something seemingly innocuous such as gloves or safety shoes, you need to wear your designated safety equipment at all times.

Use Safe Lifting Techniques or Ask For Assistance

When picking up and carrying heavy loads it is important to use safe lifting techniques, which includes asking for help when necessary. If the item is over 35 pounds you should seek assistance with the move and no matter if you’re moving it with a partner or alone, you should employ the following techniques.


  • Plan the lift and know your route, clearing the desired safest path if necessary
  • Communicate your lift to those around you in order to help prevent them from unknowingly getting in your way, and get their assistance when necessary.
  • Lift from a power position. Keep your eyes and chin up, face forward, and keep your eyes parallel to the floor. This helps maintain a neutral curve in your back.
  • Always keep the load close to your body. The chance for injuries such as strains and sprains to the back, arms and shoulders can increase if you handle the load away from your body.
  • Utilize a staggered stance by having one foot in front of the other as this puts you in a better position of power and doing so gives you a more stable lift and provides you with better balance, reducing the chance of back strain.
  • Avoid twisting your body while making the move – nose follows toes! Eliminate unnecessary strain on your back by using your feet to change direction and moving them in the direction you plan to travel instead of turning or twisting your upper body in that direction.

Preventing On The Job Accidents Is Everyone’s Job

Whether you’re the employer or employee, job safety should be first and foremost on everyone’s minds. At the end of the day, everybody should get to go home safely and if you practice the above tips, you’ll definitely be in a better position to do your part in preventing on the job injuries and accidents. Communicate with your employer, especially if you see an unsafe practice or situation. Don’t leave your workplace safety to simple luck and chance, be proactive and help prevent on the job accidents before they occur.