Going to work every day has different meaning for everyone. Some of us love our jobs and others go for a paycheck. Regardless of what we do for work, hazards in the work place exist, no matter where we are employed. We spend a lot of time at work these days, some work 8 hour days and other 12-16 hour days which equals quite a bit of our time during a the week. Some employers do a great job of informing employees about workplace hazards and some do not. It is easy to get complacent, especially when you are at the end of a 12 hour shift, to hazards in the workplace. It is truly up to the individual worker to be alert and aware of conditions or equipment that may harm or even kill you while you are at work.
Things to consider, that are trends in the U.S. workplace are that workers are working until they are much older and that people in the community and in the workplace are more ill then they have ever been. Many reach retirement age and cannot afford to retire due to personal financial constraints or having to support other family members. Chronic illness and the treatments for those illnesses are done more on an outpatient basis than ever before. These treatments allow patients to live as “normal” of a life as possible, which includes going to work.
My focus is not only in employees being alert to hazards, but what to do if there is a medical emergency at work. Most of the time when an emergency happens at work, it is chaotic and stressful for everyone involved. The wait for emergency responders to arrive can seem like an eternity when one of your coworkers is in dire need of help. So what do you do when you find that someone is need of help?
Make sure the area is safe for you to enter.
Many times it is initially unknown why the victim been injured or fallen ill. ALWAYS, and I stress ALWAYS make sure that you take a look around for hazards that may make you a victim as well. Your safety should always be paramount when attempting to help someone.
For example: Joe is working under his desk to fix that power cord that keeps coming loose and ends up getting electrocuted. When he falls to the ground, he fell on the cord and it is still “live”. You go to touch him, now you are a victim as well. Always be alert and look around you and the victim, there could be many hidden dangers.
It is very easy to become complacent at work because after all you spend quite a bit of time there each week. Be alert and aware of hazards and report them as you see them. All offices, manufacturing facilities, and repair shops are packed with electronics and other devices. In our “do it yourself” society, corners are often cut to power equipment and make things work without having to call a professional to do it. Be careful and don’t make yourself a victim while trying to help another.