June is National Safety Month. Follow us along all month as we talk about different safety topics and why safety is important to christopher. This week, we focus on hazard recognition. Hazards are everywhere – from on the job to at home – and spotting them isn’t always as simple as we think.

Learn to See Hazards

Once you train yourself to spot hazards, you’ll notice them all around you. They may not always be obvious or immediate concerns, but they can still pose a risk to you and your coworkers. The sooner they are fixed, the better.

  • Spotting hazards is all about anticipation. Start to ask yourself, “if I take this action, what might happen?”
  • This applies to everything from working with dangerous chemicals and manufacturing machines to simply walking through your job site
  • Picture yourself walking around a corner with your hands full. When you ask, “what might happen?” you can anticipate risks like someone else turning the corner at the same time. Then you can take simple steps – like taking a wider turn – and completely avoid the risk
  • Plenty of hazards will be much more serious, but this same way of thinking can help you spot and avoid them. Just be willing to speak up when you see them to keep your coworkers safe

Unforeseen/Forgotten Hazards

Your workplace may have policies in place for major hazards, but many hidden issues can still put you at risk.

  • Lighting A burnt-out bulb can keep hazards in the showers. Even if you’re not the one responsible for fixing it, report this hazard right away.
  • Temperature Plan ahead and dress appropriately for the temperatures you’ll experience on the job. Watch out for other possible hazards caused by temperature, like early morning dew on concrete
  • Air Quality Similar to temperature, make sure exhaust fans are running
  • Overexertion This is the number one cause of work-related injury! Report stress or strain on your body from heavy lifting or repetitive motions and talk to your supervisor to be sure you are performing these actions safely

Source: National Safety Council