In the USA, there are over 5,000 deaths per year as a direct result of improper safety at work. So, if you spot unsafe work practices on your job, you should always report them immediately. Doing this ensures everyone is safe. There are many, but here are some of the most common.
No Protection from Hazardous Materials
Just working near a busy road means you are exposed to harmful substances such as vehicle emissions, possible bacteria, and even secondhand cigarette smoke. However, there are some hazards that require strong protection for you to be safe. Just ask those currently involved in an asbestos lawsuit what they think of poor protection. Hazards like asbestos and other materials and chemicals can cause life-threatening illnesses. So always request PPE for the job at hand.
Human Issues Cause Unsafe Work Practices
Human error is a big reason why things go wrong at work, and people get hurt. There are four main things that make people fail. These include doing a job too quickly, being too angry, or being too tired. Any of these can be dangerous in a lot of situations, like when you’re driving for a living. These ways of thinking can make you do things that hurt yourself or other people. Or, at the very least, do something bad. Complacency is also a big reason why people ignore safety.
Forced or Too Much Overtime
Employers often ask workers to work extra hours. But this can lead to many problems, like being too tired to do anything. Even in the most interesting jobs, it’s hard to stay awake for long hours of work. You will get tired if you work excessively over time. And there will be more chances of accidents. If your boss is forcing you to work extra hours, you can say no if it goes over your contract hours. But it’s usually classed as 40 hours in a given 7-day period.
Bad Habits that are Ignored
These days, it’s hard to find a workplace that isn’t at least trying to change following movements like #MeToo and Black Lives Matter since safety at work also extends to social issues. However, not all jobs are safe in these ways, and there are many bad cultural habits, such as:
- A culture of drinking, smoking, and drug taking that is largely ignored.
- Racial, sexual, and gender abuse is ignored as part of company culture.
- Blocking fire exits and emergency gangways that prevent proper evacuation.
- Routinely ignoring health and safety hazards and regulations like PAT testing.
- Allowing colleagues to remain on-site when they are clearly ill or sick.
If there is a single one of these issues, you can raise concerns with HR, and they may move to address the situation. However, more than one could mean there is an inherent lack of respect for safety. And if this is the case, perhaps it’s time to look for a job that appreciates you.
Poor Visibility for the Required Job
Lighting, whether it is natural or artificial, is crucial for numerous reasons. Light can make you more alert and help you get more done. But it also helps keep the workplace safe. Sometimes, employers don’t give you enough light, which is unfortunate. And this will be bad for your health. For example, if your workspace doesn’t have enough light, your eyes may get tired and blurry. This can make it dangerous to use machinery or even pass somebody with a hot drink or tool.
Unsafe Work Practices Include Improper Training
Even small jobs may need some kind of training. Still, there are a lot of jobs, like using power tools or heavy machinery, that can only be done safely with full training. For instance, letting you use tools that aren’t made for the job at hand can hurt you or cause an accident. If you’ve been trained, this could be because you don’t know what you’re doing. But even in this case, your boss should keep an eye on what you’re doing and make sure you’re using it the right way.
A Conscious Disregard for Safety
Every place of work should have safety rules in place to keep workers safe. But workers who don’t follow safety rules put themselves and other people in danger. Signs or symbols for safety tell you about possible dangers. But sometimes people don’t pay attention to them because they don’t know what they mean. Or from ignorance and a lack of care. But this won’t happen if there is a healthy safety culture that keeps workers focused on health and safety measures.
You have the right to be safe at work. And your employer should deliver this right, even in jobs where safety concerns are immediately visible. Every office, site, or store has safety issues. And these include hazardous materials, bad workplace culture, and a conscious ignorance of safety.