Time Out!

Many workplace safety tips often times require a lot of effort. The intent is always to keep workers safe and reduce the risk of injury. Even if you follow all of the rules, you may still be at risk

Sometimes, even by doing nothing, you are being safe. Your inaction can actually benefit your environment and fellow workers. Not to mention keeping yourself safe and happy. Here are a few ways to avoid workplace injuries by staying on the sidelines.

Reduce Stress Stress

This is one of the main precursors to workplace injuries. The pressure to perform is present in every work environment. It is easy to say to reduce stress. There are some equipment and environments that are inherently dangerous. So inattention is not an option. When you do have a break in the action, there are many stress relieving techniques you can use to get you feeling back to normal. Visualization, mantras, and simply controlling your breath may all sound new age. With practice, they can help to relieve some tension after intense sessions of workplace stress.

Take Breaks

OSHA has strict rules around hours worked and duration of paid and unpaid breaks. Take them. Breaks are mandated specifically to reduce the risk of workplace injury. Your body and mind need a few minutes of rest before re-engaging in stressful work environments. Whenever possible, leave the work environment so you can take a few minutes to rest, relax, talk with a co-worker, or otherwise have some downtime. Working without a break puts you at much greater risk of an injury than the time it takes to actually take a break. Depending on the situation, you may also be putting your fellow coworkers and the general public at risk, too. It may not only be in your best interest to take a break and spend a few minutes doing nothing, but you are also putting other people’s safety ahead of your own.

Report Unsafe Conditions and Equipment

While this tip is not exactly doing nothing, it does fit in with ceasing work activity until equipment and conditions are safe. Getting the job done quickly, efficiently and through adversity may sound brave and heroic. And there can be some gray areas when it comes to safe conditions. A piece of equipment can still be operated though not provide all of its intended functionality. These are the circumstances when conditions and equipment must be reported to management. Holding your manager accountable to make these decisions protects you in more ways than one. Alerting management to unsafe work conditions can give you alternatives to working in that particular area or using that piece of gear. This may allow you to actually keep on working and get the job done.

Sometimes a time out is your best defense against workplace injuries. Taking a break and regrouping is not just a good idea, it is also the law. Doing nothing is still a decision. All we can do is make the best decisions we can with the information we are given.