Health and safety have become a primary concern for employers regardless of what industry they’re in. The rise of legal claims against accidents and injuries, constant battles over regulations, and the greater awareness of health risks in even the most seemingly benign jobs of all has dominated the discussion on the impact of work life on our health. Here, we’re going to look at how you can ensure that your workplace isn’t endangering your health, regardless of where you work.
Say no to overtime
One of the health risks that has recently gained a lot of attention is the fact that more of us are working long and unsociable hours, and more of us are inclined to take more overtime than we should, even unpaid. Even if we’re not specifically threatened to work overtime or else risk a promotion or our job, workplace culture pressures employees into doing it. However, as https://www.webmd.com/g00/heart/news/20170911/the-health-risks-of-long-work-weeks shows, there are severe risks to working too many long work weeks and taking on overtime. Beyond the mental impact of stress, there is the threat to our sleep, the increased risk of heart disease, and more to consider. Standing your ground and saying no to overtime might just save your life.
Know your employer’s responsibility
Not every accident is legally your employer’s responsibility. In some high-risk environments, such as in manufacturing jobs, working on oil rigs, or in construction sites, most employers are very careful to thoroughly train their employees in how to work with as little risk as possible. Neglecting your own duties towards health and safety could mean that the responsibility of an accident is laid on your feet. However, if you do spot any factors that make a certain job or process even riskier, addressing those safety concerns with your employer is a must. If they fail to act on it, then any injury or accident that happens as a result is their fault, but naturally, it’s best to avoid doing that particular work until the problem is fixed.
Know the risks of your role
While all occupations carry with them some level of risk to your health, some are more dangerous than others, as mentioned above. Some of the riskiest places to work include factories, construction sites, in rooftop repair, on farms, in airplanes, and at sea. It’s crucial you do the research and learn the different risks of where you work, and which laws apply to ensure your safety. For maritime workers, whether in docks, harbors, or at sea, https://hofmannlawfirm.com/practice_areas/new-york-maritime-accident-and-injury-attorneys.cfm is a resource that can show you which regulations protect you, as well as how to ensure your employer faces responsibility if you’re involved in an injury or an accident. If you’re unaware of the particular threats that you face in your workplace, then you are at an even greater risk of falling victim to them.
Ensure that you’re provided for
In many workplaces, personal protection equipment plays a huge role in ensuring the safety of the workers. Sites like https://www.linkstaffing.com/personal-protective-equipment-keeping-workers-safe/ show a whole range of PPE and what kind of protection they can provide. Some, such as work gloves, boots, goggles, and the like might be obvious, but there is other equipment like earplugs and mufflers that fight against the lesser known threat of occupational hearing loss. It’s your employer’s responsibility to provide working personal protection equipment. You might be more comfortable buying more expensive, higher quality safety gear yourself, but make sure that they’re approved by the employer before your wear them at the workplace.
Make sure you’re getting a healthy balance
Overtime and long work hours play into the risk to your mental and emotional health that any workplace can present, but they aren’t the only threat. Harassment, unnecessary pressure and bullying from superiors and poor work-life balance are some of the leading causes of chronic stress, anxiety, and depression in the working population. Looking after your mental well-being is crucial. This could mean learning stress management techniques such as meditation or breathing exercises or getting help from a counselor to help address any emotional distress you’re feeling. The workplace has a long way to catch up when it comes to ensuring the mental well-being of their staff.
No workplace is entirely free from risk. Even the self-employed professional working from home could be at risk of chronic pain due to bad posture and the sedentary nature of the job. As an employee, it’s not necessarily your responsibility to fight those risks, but it’s wise to be aware of them and what you and your employer can do about them.