Missing work can be a pain – with losing hours, pay, and moving your schedule around. What’s even more of a pain? Having to miss work because of an injury. Unfortunately, it’s a reality for thousands of workers across the nation. The National Safety Council reports that every seven seconds, someone is injured on the job. That means 510 injuries per hour, 88,500 per week, and 12,600 each day.
While those figures are decreasing thanks to employers and employees joining to work toward safety, the numbers are still staggering and we intend to see them continue to decline. The top three workplace injury events that result in lost work days are 1) overexertion causing 33.54% of injuries, 2) contact with or struck by objects and equipment causing 26% of injuries, and slips, trips and falls causing 25.8% of injuries.
There are measures you can take to ensure you’re heading to each jobsite feeling safe. Gina Ripley, PeopleReady’s National Safety Trainer, lists five crucial items to mark off your checklist before getting to work or when you're on the job. Make sure to review them before each job; you’ll be steps ahead with safety:
- ___ Get a clear and thorough job description for your assignment and ask questions until you can paint a picture of the work in your mind: When you’re able to visualize the work you’ll be doing, you’ll be able to determine whether it’s a job you’re comfortable with and that you have the right training and/or skills to do it safely. Recruiters should be able to give you all of the information you need to assess the job clearly.
- ___ Call the branch if the job you are being asked to do by the customer varies greatly from the job description you were given: It’s important that you do the type of work you signed up for and that is understood by all parties.
- ___ Wear your Personal Protective equipment: It might seem like a simple task, but you’d be surprised at how many injuries occur due to lack of PPE. It’s called ‘protective’ for a reason; don’t go without it.
- ___ If there are any unsafe conditions or near misses on the site say something to the supervisor and the branch: It may seem scary to point something out to a supervisor, but respectfully pointing out conditions that could be harmful not only keeps you and your coworkers safe, it also helps protect the company from larger issues.
- ___ Report any injury, no matter how minor it may seem, to the onsite supervisor and the branch: even if you think an injury is nothing to worry about, both you and the customer should go through the proper process to ensure you are taken care of in the case what seemed like a small injury turns into something larger. What might feel like a small pinch in your neck could prove to be an extremely painful issue later – so don’t risk brushing it off and report it to both the onsite supervisor and your branch representative.
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