Workplace safety is just one aspect of National Safety Month
By Taylor Shultz
June is National Safety Month and a perfect time to learn about how you could be affected at work.
Since 2009 work-related deaths have increased by 17.5 percent, according to The National Safety Council.
There are many topics that fall under the workplace safety, but some are not as obvious as others. Driving is considered one of those safety topics. This topic can apply to many employees across different careers because most of us drive to our workplace.
Driving is a safety concern for many reasons. There can be many distractions while driving, like cell phones. Fatigue and driving is another big safety concern. You are three times more likely to be in a car crash if you are fatigued.
Drowsy driving is impaired driving. Losing just two hours of sleep is similar to the effect of having three beers and being awake for more than 20 hours is equivalent of being legally drunk, according to The National Safety Council.
Fatigue is a safety concern outside of driving too. Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep for peak performance, but one third of adults are averaging less than six hours a day of sleep. According to The National Safety Council, safety performance decreases when employees are tired.
Lastly, fatigue can cause other negative impacts on your body. If you have chronic sleep-deprivation, you are at a higher risk for depression, obesity, cardiovascular disease and other illnesses.
For this year’s national safety month, one of the topics is trips and falls. I was surprised when I found out that the third leading cause of unintentional injury-related death is falls.
It is not so surprising to hear that construction workers are the most at risk for falls. But, did you know that they are actually seven times more likely to experience a fall? Even if you are not a construction worker, falls can happen at your work place—even an “office job,” according to The National Safety Council.
Falls are 100 percent preventable.
When it comes to workplace safety and falls, it is important to take action. While at work it is important to plan ahead, assess the risk/scan the area for hazards, use the correct equipment and determine if it is necessary to be working from a height.
It is also important to have the proper training that relates to your job. If you are not trained to do something, then someone that has that skill set needs to be performing the task.
Ladder safety is also important when preventing falls at the workplace and at home. As a retail worker, I use ladders frequently. I mostly use a stepladder, which can be hazardous, but I also use a large ladder from time to time. I learned a few things about ladder safety that I will now use during my job.
When using a ladder there are several things to consider: Keep the ladder on a flat surface, use the locking device on the ladder and use proper technique when climbing the ladder. Proper technique includes having two hands and one foot on the ladder or having two feet and one hand on the ladder while climbing.
It is easy to disregard safety when you are at work, but everyone needs to be aware of their surroundings. Always check for hazards, so you do not become a part of the workplace injury safety statistics.