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Which health and safety practices are often overlooked?

 

Good OHS practices have always been of paramount importance in the workplace. If they’re followed out to the letter, the chances of an accident or injury at work are lessened, but it’s when we become neglectful or overlook certain factors that problems may arise.

Here are three OHS practices that may not seem as pressing as the more obvious ones, but are no less important to keep a close eye on.

1. Correct lifting technique

Manual workers should be instructed on their very first day on the job how to correctly lift an object, no matter how large or small. Lifting with the bigger muscles of the legs, rather than the much weaker ones in the back, is a mantra drilled into employees from the start, so much so that workers may become desensitised to the advice – and not follow it.

One in three workplace injuries is caused by manual handling mistakes.

Additionally, workers may feel embarrassed about asking for help in lifting something that is far too heavy for one person, which can sometimes result in serious injury. According to the Victorian government’s Better Health Channel, one in three workplace injuries is caused by manual handling mistakes – so making sure correct technique is used is vital.

2. Staying hydrated at work

An article appearing in Safety Culture states that a worker who isn’t adequately hydrated is much more likely to improperly handle tools, chemicals or other workplace items – and be less aware of their surroundings.

A worker who isn’t adequately hydrated is much more likely to improperly handle tools, chemicals or other workplace items.

What’s more, a dehydrated employee is at much greater risk of heat stroke or cardiac complications, especially if working outside under the hot Australian sun. It’s not just the dehydrated employee who could fall victim to an injury or accident – if he or she is working in a team, those workers could be in danger, too. The classic 8×8 rule should apply here – eight 8oz glasses of water a day should provide ample hydration. That’s around 235 millilitres.

3. Work-related stress

A study carried out by the University of Wollongong found that 65.1 per cent of Australian employees reported that they were stressed to a ‘moderate to high’ level, and this largely silent condition can be the most dangerous unnoticed safety hazard of them all.

Any workplace can be a stressful one, including restaurants, building sites and offices.
Any workplace can be a stressful one, including restaurants, building sites and offices.

Many factors can contribute to workplace stress – an overly high workload, bullying bosses or the daily prospect of dealing with angry clients, and stress can often lead serious medical conditions, including depression. Hence, it’s important that employees are given every opportunity to talk through their issues, and seek professional help if need be.

Be sure to get in touch with the expert team at AlertForce to find out more about our range of accredited OHS courses.

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