The responsibility for your personal safety begins and ends with you. These
guidelines will help you identify common safety problems and develop good safety
habits to reduce your risk of accidents.
10 Safety essentials
1. Look at the big picture
|•||Recognize that accidents hurt
everyone. An accidental injury can have far-reaching effects, not only on
you, but also on your family, co-workers and employer.
|•||Take responsibility for keeping your
home, workplace and recreational areas as safe and risk-free as possible.
2. Follow the Golden Rule
|•||When you're at work, at home or out
having fun, act as safely around others as you would want them to act around
|•||Recognize and report or repair safety
|•||Before you take unsafe "short cuts,"
remember that this could be the time that you cause an accident.
3. Know the common hazards
|•||Be aware of the four main causes of
|o||physical overload –
lifting too much, straining, twisting or making the body move in unnatural
|o||unexpected impact –
being hit by or hitting an object
|o||slips and falls –
falling from a height or falling during a slip
|o||machine accidents –
getting caught in moving machine parts
4. Put your mind to safety
|•||Accidents don't just happen. They are
always caused by a combination of:
|o||unsafe attitudes –
coming to work angry, not taking safety rules seriously, not paying
attention to the task at hand
|o||unsafe behaviours –
failing to follow safety procedures, fooling around, refusing to wear
|o||unsafe conditions – a
work area cluttered with debris, spills, broken equipment
5. Protect your back
|•||Stretch and strengthen your
back. Exercise your back and stomach muscles to
protect yourself from injury.
safe lifting techniques to avoid strains and injuries.
6. Avoid chemical hazards
|•||Know how to protect yourself from the
health hazards of the chemicals you use.
|•||Read the warning labels on any chemical
before you use it.
|•||Remember that an unlabelled chemical is
a dangerous one.
|•||Never sniff or smell an unlabelled
|•||The board provides Material Safety Data
Sheets (MSDS) for all hazardous chemicals used in the workplace. MSDSs
describe the contents, hazards and applications of these chemical products.
They also provide guidelines for using the chemicals safely and for treating
dangerous exposures. Before handling hazardous chemicals, learn how to read
and understand MSDS and find out where you can access them in your
7. Use protective clothing and equipment
|•||Protective clothing and equipment can
keep you safe from many hazards – but they only work if you wear them and
use them correctly.
|•||Know the right type of protective
clothing for the task.
|•||Inspect all personal protection
clothing and equipment regularly and replace damaged or worn pieces when
8. Respect machinery
|•||Modern machinery can be very dangerous
if you don't operate or repair it properly.
|•||Always leave machine guards in place
and follow instructions for operating machinery.
|•||Avoid wearing loose sleeves, gloves,
rings or other jewelry that could get caught in a machine.
9. Prevent slips, trips and falls
|•||Everywhere you look, there are hazards
that could cause you to slip and fall. Be aware of your surroundings and
avoid situations that put you at risk.
10. Be prepared for emergencies
|•||Knowing how to react in an emergency
can often mean the difference between life and death. Develop emergency
plans for common situations in your home or work life and make sure that you
|o||the location of fire
extinguishers, first aid kits and exits
|o||what type of fire
extinguisher to use on a fire
procedures, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
|o||what to do if you inhale
a hazardous chemical or get a dangerous substance on your skin or eyes
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Know your safety rights and responsibilities
Visit the Safety rights and
responsibilities section for more information on the duties and obligations
of workers, employers, supervisors and contractors.