It’s great to have a job while studying, but remaining safe in the workplace is vital. These 10 Workplace, Health & Safety (WHS) tips will help you minimise risks and hazards in the workplace – or even the uni space!
1. Clear the Hallways
• Objects and obstacles in hallways, stairways and thoroughfares in general, are serious trip hazards and can lead to serious injuries.
• Keep boxes and other items out of the way and put them in storage rooms instead.
• Lacking in storage? It might be time to reassess your space needs and re-decorate, renovate or relocate!
2. Keep Fire Doors Shut
• Fire doors must be kept closed at all times (never propped open) if they are to function properly in an emergency.
• No objects should obstruct fire doors at any time, so if you see any obstructions, report or remove these immediately.
3. Pick up Heavy Items the Right Way
• Good old manual handling? This is something that is crucial to every workplace. Picking up boxes and other heavy items – the wrong way – can lead to injuries, putting you out of work and study.
• Always lift boxes from the knees (not back) and hold items close to your chest when carrying them.
• If something’s too heavy for you, use a trolley – or don’t lift it at all!
4. Make Note of Emergency Items
• Do you know where your First Aid Kit is? What about the fire extinguisher or the emergency exits?
• Taking note of these simple things can be a lifesaver in an emergency.
• If you’re unsure where these items are, ask or investigate.
5. Correct Your Posture
• Did you know that using incorrect posture while sitting at your desk or working on the computer can cause physical strain and injury?
• Good posture means that your back should be straight, elbows should be bent at 90° and your hips/legs should be at 90-120°.
• Your monitor should be an arm’s length away and the top of your computer screen should be at your eye level or just below it.
• Your wrists should not be bent while typing and your feet should be flat on the ground or on a footrest!
6. Minimise Eye Fatigue
• What’s eye fatigue? It’s when your eyes become red, tired, dry, blurry and/or sore from staring at the computer screen too much. No one wants that!
• The best way to minimise eye fatigue is to take frequent breaks for at least 2 minutes each time.
• You can also lessen fatigue by reducing brightness/glare, aligning the screen with your eye level and (if applicable) ensuring your glasses are the right prescription.
7. Learn Emergency Procedures
• Emergency procedures explain what needs to happen if an emergency alarm is triggered.
• Do you know how to exit the building and where you should congregate? If not, check your company’s WHS policy and evacuation procedures.
• It’s also a good idea to know who the First Aid Officers are – and where to find them.
8. Don’t Put Up With Harassment
• Yes, harassment and bullying is also a part of WHS! Don’t put up with harassment of any kind.
• If you experience or witness harassment, report it straight away.
9. Avoid & Fix Electrical Nasties
• Electricity can be harmful! If you notice any loose or damaged wires/cords or malfunctioning power points, avoid touching these and report them immediately.
• Avoid plugging in double adapters on top of each other! This is a known fire risk.
• Make sure that no flammable materials are located near electrical switchboards.
10. Watch the Temperature
• Buildings can easily overheat, so make sure your work or study space has adequate ventilation and air conditioning, especially during summer.
• Overheating can lead to dehydration, exhaustion, fatigue and even illness. It can also make working or studying impossible.
• You can also stay hydrated by drinking lots of water, even when the air con is on!
Are you on top of your Workplace Health and Safety? Remember, always reduce as many hazards and risks as possible to ensure a safe work or study spot for everyone!