Safe Work Practices
A work practice or work procedure describes how people actually perform a task. People have the most control over how they perform a task. It includes steps taken before, during and after performing a specific task to ensure it is accomplished safely.
Once you have learned how a task is performed safely, maintain a conscientious awareness. Learn to ask yourself some specific question about the work before proceeding.
A Personal Safety Checklist
Before starting any task, ask yourself:
1. Am I mentally alert and physically ready to complete the task?
2. Have I been trained to perform this task or do I need additional information?
3. Do I have all the personal safety gear required? And do I understand how to properly use it to complete the task safely?
4. Do I have the right tools and equipment for the job?
5. Have I safety-inspected the tools and equipment?
During the job, ask:
Am I paying attention to the task at hand?
This is critical especially when working with power equipment; avoid distractions that divide your attention.
After you've finished, ask:
1. Did I leave equipment or tools behind or create a situation that might lead to an unhealthy or unsafe condition in the future?
2. If a task must be finished at a later date, did I remember to alert my supervisor and leave clear signs and warnings for others of the hazard(s) at the site and to exercise caution?
Creating a Safe Environment
Safe Work Conditions
By briefly observing the area you will be working in, you can uncover potentially hazardous or unsafe conditions before they can hurt you.
Safe working conditions depend on your observations. Unsafe situations can only be corrected if someone takes the time to notice and report them, or if qualified, to make the corrections themselves.
It's easy to learn to be a good observer. Here are some specific things to look for:
1. Are there slip, trip or fall hazards in your work area?
2. Is the work area well ventilated?
3. Is the work area will lit?
4. Is the work area uncluttered; does it display good "housekeeping" practices?
5. Are cones, signs and/or barrier tape needed to alert other workers and passersby of your work activities in public areas?
6. Does the work require lifting or moving heavy or bulky items? Remember to use proper lifting techniques...and to get help if you're not sure you can move it alone.