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With an intimidating array of potential threats to safety, workplace accidents can and do happen every day. From improper equipment use to dangers of workplace violence, there are threats that could leave workers harmed if not properly managed. Regardless of your position in your organization, you can contribute to workplace safety.
Identify the Hazards
To produce workplace safety, business owners should continually monitor the work environment to detect safety hazards. Even if you aren’t in a supervisory position in your workplace, if safety is your passion, you can help be part of the solution. Go to your supervisor and volunteer to join a safety committee. If that isn't possible, you can still do your part by reporting dangers you see to supervisors so they can fix the problems before they lead to injuries.
Cut out the Shortcuts
All too often, preventable workplace accidents happen because intelligent people make poor choices in the interest of saving time. If you have ever used a box as a stepping stool so you didn’t have to make the trip to get a ladder, filled a spray bottle without properly labeling it to indicate the contents or propped a side door open so you didn’t have to fish out your keys upon your return, you are guilty of this type of behavior. Remember, when you break rules you aren’t only putting yourself in danger, you are also endangering your co-workers.
Praise Safe Actions
Let your co-workers know that you are on the lookout for safe behaviors. When you see a co-worker do something properly, speak up. Tell your cubicle neighbor that you appreciate that she locked the entrance door properly. Let the janitor know that you are impressed by his neat cart full of properly labeled-for-safety chemicals. You will not only give these hard workers a boost, you also will encourage others to pay attention to safety.
Train Others in Workplace Safety
If you feel particularly knowledgeable about workplace safety, you may be an ideal candidate to lead a training class on the topic. Express your confidence in this area to your employer and offer to help to educate the rest of the workforce. If he accepts your volunteered services, lead a training class in which you walk your co-workers through the dos and don’ts of workplace safety. Eventually, you can create a battalion of safety-conscious workers and reduce workplace safety risks.
Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, Trails.com and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.