‘Health’ and ‘safety’. Those two words often cause a ripple of groans whenever they’re uttered on-site.
But it can’t all be bad- when you look past the sometimes overzealous rules and regulations, you can see that the true root message of Health and Safety is just to look after yourself at work.
In January, we’re all trying to better ourselves (think overcrowded gyms and seeing vegan food adverts wherever you go). So, why not take some time to think about your wellbeing at work, as well?
That’s the message behind the ‘Safety Reboot’ initiative by the Construction Employers Federation of Northern Ireland. It’s a month-long programme that aims to encourage tradespeople to take 15 minutes out of their week to focus on some key areas of health and safety.
Here are the top 3 ways to watch your health on site:
SLIPS, TRIPS, AND FALLS
Don’t worry- we’re not going to quiz you on the dictionary difference between a slip and a trip. But, it is important to have some tips in mind for reducing the risk of falling on-site, like having a ‘clean as you go’ mentality.
It’s also a good time to review what to do when spills or slips do happen, like reporting near misses as a preventative measure. The HSE has lots of useful info on this stuff.
NOTICE THE LITTLE THINGS
We have to worry about dust now?! Vibration, noise, and dust might seem insignificant in the short term, but they can gradually damage your health.
The tried and tested ‘common sense’ method works just fine here. For example, if you’re working with vibrating plant machinery and notice that your hands are aching a bit more than they used to, it’s probably time to treat yourself to some spanking new padded gloves.
KNOW YOUR EMERGENCY PROCEDURES
You say ‘emergency procedures’, you hear ‘fire drill’. We all practised lining up in the school playground until we were blue in the face and deaf from the siren, but when did we ever learn what to do if someone next to us suffers a traumatic injury?
Accidents and emergencies can be – unfortunately- an inevitable part of working on the tools, so the best thing to do is be prepared. At the very least, get up-to-date with who your first-aiders are and where your first-aid kit is stored.