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Tillman & Associates, Attorneys at Law

How to prepare for workplace safety hazards

You cannot avoid workplace injuries all of the time, but your employer is legally responsible to do everything possible to do so. Workplace safety hazards are everywhere, even in traditional office settings. Here's how you can prepare for workplace hazards as an employee.

Learn about bloodborne pathogens

One of the most important steps of preparing for hazards in the office is to learn about bloodborne pathogens. Most injuries involve blood, which can carry HIV and HBV.

Learn proper lifting procedures

You need to learn how to properly lift items, even in an office setting. Someone can pull a muscle lifting boxes of copier paper if they don't know how to lift properly.

Fire extinguisher policy

Make sure you know the office procedure for using fire extinguishers. If an EAP is already in place, do not use fire extinguishers should the building be evacuated for a fire. Also discuss with your employer the type of extinguishers there are throughout the office and which ones are right for the type of fire.

Slip and fall hazards

Anyone can slip and fall, even in an office setting. This is especially true if people let their guard down. Make sure all doors and ramps are properly marked. If there are steps down into a room through a doorway, make sure the proper signage is in place. Always keep floors dry. If they become wet, for any reason, have them cleaned immediately. Keep all areas of the building well lit and replace light bulbs as soon as possible.

Report hazards

Know how important it is to report any hazards you come across immediately. It is for your own safety and the safety of your co-workers that this policy is followed. When known hazards are not reported, issues can arise that cause injuries to employees. Ask your employer how to report the hazards (which channels) and to whom they are to report the hazards.

Workplace safety is tantamount to the health and happiness of yourself and your co-workers. An experienced Atlanta attorney can answer all of your questions regarding workplace safety and how to protect yourself should you get injured on the job.

Source: The Business Journals, "9 ways to prepare your staff for office safety hazards," Judie Smithers, accessed Dec. 16, 2016

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