Safety and hygiene practices
The importance of safety and hygiene cannot be overstressed. It is very important in preventing accidents and promoting health of the workers. Failure to follow safety rules can put workmates at risk.
Safety practices must go hand in hand with the improvement of workplace conditions. It is essential that each worker participate in finding unsafe conditions and suggesting corrective action. Everybody should be a participant in workplace inspections. Such participation is accelerated when safety rules and practices are observed by all.
The concept of accident-prone workers was based on observations that, while some workers had no accidents, others had several in a certain period of time in other words, some workers were more apt to have accidents than others. It also meant that some workers “prone” to accidents were particularly careless. Although this idea received some support in the past, it has now largely been denied. It is far more likely that some workers are victims of the law of probability or deal with more working conditions.
Underestimation of risks may lead to a false feeling of security and to indifference toward safety. All employers, managers, supervisors, workers, and government officials must continually stress the importance of safety as part of every task. Measures must be taken by all parties to constantly reinforce safety issues.
The work of the company health centre carrying out medical examinations of new employees, regular health checks for certain risk groups e.g. workers exposed to lead, noise, radiation etc. An important task is to take part in planning new premises, buying equipment and chemicals etc.
To be safe, all workers should
- Take care of their own safety.
- Take responsibility for of other persons who may be affected by their acts or omissions;
- Comply with safety instructions;
- Use safety devices and protective equipment correctly;
- Report to the supervisor any situation that could present a hazard which he cannot correct;
- Report any accident or occupational illness that arises in connection with work.
Personal hygiene is very important in terms of reducing health hazards when using chemical products such as epoxy, isocyanides, lead and pesticides. Do not allow your dirty clothes to spread hazardous substances to your own home and family.
Good hygiene is always necessary. Good practice in personal hygiene is difficult unless adequate sanitary facilities are provided. It is also the responsibility of each worker to make best use of the provided facilities. Good hygiene is essential for workers exposed to toxic chemicals, (especially chemicals which may be allergy-producing or absorbed through the skin), to heat, and to dirty work.
To practice good hygiene
- Drink clean, potable water.
- Never eat in locker rooms, washrooms or where dangerous materials are used.
- Wash your hands and the exposed parts of the body regularly and take daily baths.
- Clean your teeth and mouth daily and have periodic dental check-ups.
- Wear proper clothing and footwear. Do not mix up working and street clothes. Clean working clothes, towels, etc., particularly when they get contaminated, with the help of a special laundry.
- Wear protective masks, glasses, gloves, ear-plugs, etc. according to instructions.
- Keep physically healthy with regular exercise.
People working with dangerous dusts should shower and wash their hair after work. Dirty working clothes should be changed periodically. Different clothes should be worn for work and for time off. It is necessary to have separate lockers for working clothes and street clothes.
Sanitary areas such as toilets and washrooms, should be near the workplaces and cleaned regularly. Workers need to cooperate in keeping these clean. Flu and intestinal complaints can spread rapidly from one worker to another. Those who have flu, acute intestinal complaints or infectious boils should stay away from work until the doctor clears them.
An important part of good personal hygiene is washing at least your hands before sitting down to eat, after using the toilet, and when the work is over. Substances such as solvents, alkalis, and machine oils should never be used for cleaning the skin.