If you are a part of the industrial workforce in Massachusetts, you likely know that your job is full of safety hazards. The powerful tools and heavy equipment pose constant dangers, along with toxic substances, extreme heat and excessive noise with which you must cope every day. Although your employer is responsible for your health and safety, you might find that he or she focuses more on profits.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration expects business owners to conduct regular safety training sessions and enforce prescribed safety protocols. You should take all you can from these sessions because what you learn from them might save your life.
Essential safety precautions
The consequences of workplace accidents in industrial environments can be severe, and your chances of staying safe will increase if you take the following precautions:
- Risk assessment: Although it is the job of a safety officer, you can also look out for potentially dangerous situations and do what you can to protect yourself and your coworkers.
- Personal protective equipment: Always wear the necessary PPE, such as gloves, protective shoes, eye and ear protection, and more. Furthermore, keep in mind that loose clothing, jewelry and long hair can be caught in the moving parts of machinery.
- Heavy machinery safety: Never operate a machine that does not have the required safety guards in place. Report the slightest malfunction or defect to the maintenance department — leave repairs for those with the necessary qualifications to do them.
- Working with tools: As with heavy machinery, avoid working with damaged or malfunctioning tools — report defects to the appropriate department. Always clean tools after use and store them safely in appropriate storage areas.
- Housekeeping: Clean, organized, adequately ventilated workspaces with sufficient lighting present fewer hazards. Always clean up any spills or debris on the floor, and avoid leaving random objects where they can cause trip hazards.
- Keep your head clear: Never risk your own life and the safety of others by working under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Also, notify your supervisor if you take medication that has side effects.
- Learn evacuation procedures: Make sure you are familiar with emergency evacuation procedures and learn the locations of emergency exits and fire extinguishers. It is also important to know which machines to shut down before evacuating the building.
There is only so much you can do to protect yourself, and for that reason, it is important also to learn the steps to take in the event of a workplace accident. After receiving the necessary medical treatment, report your injury to your employer or supervisor as soon as possible. This will set the wheels rolling for a Massachusetts workers’ compensation benefits claim. You may find comfort in knowing that there are resources to assist with the navigation of the ensuing administrative and legal proceedings.