Work Safety: How Safe Are You at Work?

WORKCOVER a safely organization in New South Wales, Australia said on one of its posters “The work place kills more people than those who die on the road.” Why has the work place become so unsafe? Over the years we have seen millions suffer serious injuries or life threatening illnesses due to stressful situations. Hence Work Safety has to be a serious concern.

Are You Engaging in Safe Work Practices

According to one survey 40 percent of Japanese office workers feared possible death from overwork, over 30,000 claims are filed yearly for persons who die from Karoshi “death from overwork”- and police have suggested that work-related problems are a key factor in the increase in suicides among persons age 50 – 59.

A closer look at the Work Safety record reveals that long working hours are causing the death of many. Daily news paper carry such headlines: – Ambulance workers are required to work longer extended hours; Pilot error due to extended work hours; Transport workers on double shift involved in serious pile-up; and Construction and night shift workers in arms with management over extended work hours: All this has resulted in more and more people being killed on the job. A British survey, recently carried out, made the point that “Over worked and stressed employees are not the only ones at risk.” The Business Week Magazine states that about “15 Americans workers are murdered on the job each week.”

What Can Be Done to Improve Health Safety at Work?

There is no shortage of laws on occupational health and safety on how to work safe. Therefore safety cannot simply be legislated. Regulations at work regarding work safety issues must be taken seriously by both employers and employees. It must be the responsibility of all to look after each other.

Trying to maintain an unreasonable work schedule to meet dead lines and other unreasonable demands can be very dangerous and the consequences are potentially devastating. Yet people consent to it, with what result? Research has shown that tired workers are less efficient and make more mistakes. A British survey found that many office workers who worked long hours spent much of they working time in a state of irritation with colleagues. It contends that these bouts of conflicts usually end in violent. The question is, does accepting work schedules that breach legally established limits or fixed work hours worth it?  Maybe you would want to think about this. Do not accept work under such conditions if it is questionable. Employers often listen when reasonable objections are raised.

How should you react to irritating and hostile behavior and or stressed out fellow work colleagues?  Research has shown that in order to defuse any potentially dangerous situation you need to first “keep your cool” the research continues “Be kind and be respectful towards the aggressive person bearing in mind that the aggressor may be under personal pressures and may only be ‘steaming off’ built up pressures and frustrations. You may only be in the wrong place at the wrong time, so how you respond is very important. It can either defuse or ignite the situation.” This is truly good advice and should grab your attention especially when you consider the number of work safety issues currently in the work place. So even if there are genuine differences of view point there need not be a battle. The book “Reasoning on conflicts at work” makes an excellent suggestion “LISTEN” this is a safe work practice. It continues, “By genuinely listening to people with whom we disagree… … we can let go of our emotional investment in the continuation of fighting and discover solutions. This is clearly a common sense approach to conflict resolution and a way to work safe in today’s trouble work place.

The Department of Health and Human Resources (HHS) calls for hard working adults to exercise moderately. This they said would assist in making the work place a safer place in every respect. The more often you exercise, the HHS said, the greater the health benefits, including reducing the risk of diseases, such as early death, coronary heart disease, lower risk of stroke, high blood pressure, and of course  prevent weight gain. The bottom line is that the health benefits from physical activity for health safety at work can be of tremendous help.

To perform adequately and function well in the work place you also need to eat a healthy diet. This will keep your metabolism operating efficiently. If your diet lacks essential carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals it will not be nutritious and could well contribute to a series of work safety issues. If you pay close attention all these things not only would work safety improve but the work place would be a safer place for all.