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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, “There were approximately 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2016, which occurred at a rate of 2.9 cases per 100 full-time equivalent workers.” Although this marks a decline from prior years, it shows that workers still face inherent dangers. Here are some of the top strategies for protecting yourself from the unexpected while on the job.

Promptly Report Potential Hazards

The majority of American businesses are under the jurisdiction of OSHA. Therefore, these employers are subject to the OSH Act, which requires they provide a workplace that’s void of recognized, serious hazards. But your employer can’t always catch everything.

Therefore, it’s up to you to promptly report any potential hazards that could put you or other workers at risk. Remember that it’s always best to err on the side of caution in these cases because you could save someone from serious injury.

Wear Non-Slip Footwear

The National Safety Council lists slipping/tripping as the second most preventable workplace injury. One of the best ways to avoid slips and falls is by wearing non-slip footwear. These types of shoes utilize slip-resistant technology to ensure you maintain your balance at all times.

Wear Correct Safety Equipment 

Many injuries can be avoided by simply wearing the proper equipment such as safety goggles, safety gloves, hard hats, earplugs, etc. Be sure you never forget these items regardless of the situation.    

Use Correct Lifting Techniques 

What’s the number one most preventable workplace injury? According to the National Safety Council, it’s overexertion injuries. “Pulling, lifting, pushing, holding, carrying and throwing activities at work account for approximately $13.6 billion in benefit costs annually.”  One of the best ways to avoid issues associated with overexertion is to bend at your knees when lifting rather than your back. Also, be sure you’re taking adequate breaks to give your body a rest.

Ask for Help  

In some cases, lifting something heavy is a two or more person job. Trying to do it yourself is just inviting injury and should be avoided at all costs. If no one is available at the moment, let the task wait until one of your co-workers can help.

Everyone is entitled to a safe working environment. While a lot of keeping a workplace safe falls in the hands of your employer, it’s also your responsibility to do your part. Following these strategies should ensure you’re able to complete your daily tasks efficiently without placing yourself in unnecessary danger.

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