Your Safety: Be safe, not sorry

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Be safe, not sorry

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 you.
Recognize and report or repair safety hazards.
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 accidents:
ophysical overload – lifting too much, straining, twisting or making the body move in unnatural ways
ounexpected impact – being hit by or hitting an object
oslips and falls – falling from a height or falling during a slip
omachine 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:
ounsafe attitudes – coming to work angry, not taking safety rules seriously, not paying attention to the task at hand
ounsafe behaviours – failing to follow safety procedures, fooling around, refusing to wear protective clothing
ounsafe 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.
Use 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 chemical.
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 workplace.

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 necessary.

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 know:
othe location of fire extinguishers, first aid kits and exits
owhat type of fire extinguisher to use on a fire
omedical first-aid procedures, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
owhat 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.

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