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Warning signs: is your workplace hazardous to your...

Warning signs: is your workplace hazardous to your health?

Workplace safety should be a priority to both you and your employer, but if any of the following signs are true, then it’s clear safety standards are not as they should be. For your sake, take note of the following, and have a quiet word with your employer before disaster strikes.

These are the warning signs that your workplace could be hazardous to your health.

  • Testing hasn’t taken place. From safety equipment to electrical items, a disaster is waiting in the wings if they haven’t been rigorously tested. Check that all purchased items have followed safety regulations (they should be certified), and ensure your employer regularly schedules testing services, AEL PAT Testing, for example, to ensure levels of safety are maintained throughout the workplace.
  • There are no training opportunities. Health and safety training is a start, but then there is other training to consider, such as specific instruction on how to use pieces of equipment, and education on the ins and outs of the various job duties applicable to each employee. Many employers try and cut costs with training, but it needs to be a priority. Otherwise, work-related injuries, fatalities, and legal action will be the consequence.
  • There is insufficient signage. According to reports, many workplace injuries happen because of the lack of proper signage. Emergency exits need to be marked clearly, dangerous items and chemicals need the correct warning signs attributed to them, and when there are floor hazards such as spilled water and loose wiring, danger signs need to be visible to passers-by. Otherwise, an accident is just waiting to happen!
  • Your workplace is a toxic place to be. No, we aren’t talking about loose chemicals! Rather, we are referring to the attitudes from both employers and fellow colleagues that ruin the chances of a happy workplace. You see, aside from your risk of physical harm, your emotional health needs to be a priority as well. When your boss rules with an iron fist, and your colleagues are prone to gossip and bullying, you will suffer from mental harm because of the way people in your workplace operate.
  • Your employer is failing on their duties. It is the duty of every employer to monitor workplace safety, be that on a physical or emotional level. Policies and procedures need to be put in place to minimise any risk of harm. If they haven’t done so, you need to take action, such as speaking to your employer, or going over their head if they ignore what you have to say. If no change is forthcoming, then you need to consider your position in the workplace. It may be time to call it quits, because your health and safety, on any level, needs to be a priority.

Safety needs to be at the top of everybody’s agenda in the workplace. While your employer is responsible for putting precautions in place, it is also your job to monitor the situation. The next time you are in work, consider the environment you are in. Are any of the signs we mentioned true to your workplace? If so, take action, for your sake, and for the sake of all of those other people working with you.

Photo taken in Toronto by Bart Anestin

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