It’s clear that the best strategy to avoid workplace injuries is prevention. Being proactive about staying safe is a much better option than having to work through healing an injury. Nobody wants to have to take days or weeks off to recover from an injury and attend many doctor appointments and physiotherapy sessions. Here at the Erb Group of Companies, safety is always our top priority. We are proud to be recognized with numerous awards for our commitment to safety and are proud to reward our employees for their dedication to working safely with our Safe Driver Program and our newly launched Safe Worker Recognition Program.
Safety is top of mind for us at Erb, and it should be a priority for you too. Injuries can be prevented if we follow safe working practices and bring any concerns to the proper personnel. Here are some tips to help you stay safe at work and wherever you may be:
- Warm up
It might feel silly but warming up your muscles before performing physical tasks at work is necessary. Do some light stretches or walking before beginning any physical tasks.
- Pace of Work
Ensure you give yourself enough time to complete your tasks. Working under stress and in a hurry creates tension, not just mentally but physically as well, increasing your risk of injury.
- Wear the right clothing
Make sure you’re dressed appropriately to do your daily tasks! Wearing clothing that feels tight, stiff and restricted may cause you to overexert yourself to complete your duties and can result in a strained muscle or injury. Factor in the temperature of your work environment, whether it’s outdoor and always changing or consistent in one of our cold storage facilities, be sure to keep your muscles and organs protected. And don’t forget your footwear! Only approved footwear may be worn while on duty, if safety footwear is required, it must be CSA Grade 1 approved green label.
- Lift properly
I think we’ve all heard this one before and yet often fail to do it, “Lift with your legs, not with your back.” Let your legs do the work for you! When lifting, stand close to the item you intend to lift and face the direction you will be moving it to. Bend your legs to ensure you do not strain your back and keep your stance wide to stay balanced. Make sure you have a tight grip on the item, keep your arms straight and tighten your abdominal muscles and then lift close to your body — using your leg muscles. Avoid twisting and bending and if you are unsure you can handle the weight of the item safely, ask for help!
It’s important to be able to clearly see what you are doing. Be certain you have enough lighting to complete your tasks. Drivers, when you are on the road, choose parking places that are clearly illuminated and have a flashlight with you when walking outdoors in the evening. Wear a high visibility vest or reflective clothing when you are in a yard, on a dock or in poorly lit environments.
Paying close attention to workplace hazards and recommendations during training is a must to stay safe at work and keep your peers safe. Training is given to equip you with knowledge and skills to be able to perform tasks safely and identify any potential hazards. If you are unsure on the safest way to complete a task, ask! Your supervisors, managers, and safety department are here to help you and keep you safe. They’re able to get you the information and assurance you need to feel and be safe.
- Rest and recharge
Give your body breaks and time to rest. Make stretching part of your regular nightly routine. Did you know here at Erb you get 20 massages a year covered in your benefits package? Use them! Schedule regular massages and physiotherapy sessions as needed. By looking after your body and muscles you will ensure you are in your best state to complete any physical task.
When it comes to workplace safety, we all have a role to play. Make sure to follow all training and recommendations to eliminate preventable injuries. If you identify a potential hazard or concern, please speak to your supervisor or manager immediately. Sharing these concerns could help keep you safe in the future — and your peers! We can work together to create a culture of safety and promote safe work environments.
Never give safety a day off!