Ensuring Safety on the Job

safety on the job

In the hustle and bustle of getting the job done, it is easy to overlook the risks of certain work situations.  We can be so focused on getting everything done as quickly as possible that we often may not stop and think whether we are approaching our work in the most appropriate way to ensure self-preservation.  It is also important to evaluate how comfortable we feel in work situations.  Every employee has the right to feel secure on the job, and feeling uneasy can inhibit one’s work performance.  While most employers are committed to ensuring their employees’ safety as best they can, it is good to know your rights and precautions you can take on the job to ensure the safest and most comfortable environment for you.

Occupational Safety and Health Act

Though certain jobs (like construction and chemical engineering) may be more hazardous than others, safety can be an issue at any job.  Lucky for us Americans, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) of 1970 lays out specific guidelines requiring businesses to maintain safe work conditions as well as work practices.  The regulations of the act slightly vary depending on what state you live in, for some states follow state regulations and some follow federal regulations.  The OSHA is based upon the notion that implementing an effective safety and health program in the workplace will in turn drive down costs, increase productivity and produce happier staff members.  In reference to OSHA, the Minority Business Development Agency also discusses the responsibility of the company to make employees aware of safety and health policies, involve them in safety and health issues, and encourage them to abide by the rules.  So if you notice any workplace elements that cause you concern for yourself and/or those around you, do not hesitate to speak up to your employer.

Unfamiliar places and people

Some possible safety risks on the job go without saying, such as unsanitary conditions and faulty tools.  But unsafe work conditions don’t always take the form of hazardous materials or toxic fumes.  They can also be situations that real estate agents and door-to-door salespeople can experience, when going to unfamiliar places to meet new people, as has been in news headlines recently.  Real estate agents often meet new clients in vacant properties, so there is always a remote risk of not only encountering a suspicious client, but also coming across unwanted people or animals that have taken up temporary residence there.  It is always worth it to take extra precaution when walking into unfamiliar territory such as this.  Real estate agents and salespeople should meet clients for the first time at the office before going anywhere else with them.  It’s best to avoid these situations late at night, have someone accompany you if at all possible, be aware of how to identify a suspicious client or situation, and stay electronically connected while there.  Nowadays, many real estate agents are using apps and wearable technology on the job that offer benefits such as connection to emergency services, tracking and trauma detection, according to an article on InmanNews.com.  There’s no value that can be put on the sense of security simple things such as this can provide for not only the employees, but also their families, friends and co-workers.

Transportation and Travel Risks

Yet another work situation that could possibly pose a risk to employees is work-related travel.  Travel can take a lot of energy out of employees and throw their routine for a loop.  For an employee that travels often for work, it is only a matter of taking a few simple precautions to avoid travel pitfalls.  Make sure that you feel secure and familiar enough with any vehicle you are using for the job, as well as other forms of transportation being used.   If you are supposed to travel home late at night, but for some reason feel unable to travel after a long day of work (or due to weather conditions), it is best to make arrangements to stay overnight wherever you are and rest up so you can be more alert to travel the next day.  And make a point to remain hydrated and nourished, since travel tends to throw off our sleep and eating patterns, which can lead to stress-related health problems.

We want to bring the best version of ourselves to any job.  But no one can perform to their best ability unless they take care of themselves first.  With that said, taking a few simple steps to feel safe and secure should be a priority for any individual.

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Jessica Cody

Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.

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