Manual labour jobs such as welding, factory work and cooking are full of hazards. There are certain safety precautions each job mandates, and usually, there are policies, equipment and uniforms to prevent injury. Here are four specific examples on how to prevent injury in the work environment of an everyday manual labourer.
Stay sober and drug free
It has been said that three percent of deaths and 35 percent of work-related accidents can be attributed to drugs or alcohol. As simple as it sounds, hard labour is hard, and alcohol may dull pain and suppress the feeling of being of overworked and so can drugs. You may feel less pain and more energy, but it dulls your senses, impairs judgement, motor control and a number of other important functions. Staying clean will keep you much safer. Manual labour jobs like steel fabrication at Ceramic Technology Inc. can pay well, but you can throw good jobs away by also by not coming up clean on your drug test, which a lot of places are now requiring.
Use mechanical aids whenever possible
It may seem like carrying or lifting something extremely heavy will save time, but it puts you at a great risk of injury to your back or joints. Instead of running the risk, use a forklift, wheelbarrow or cranks. There are too many risks involved in trying to lift something you should not just to save time.
Wear the correct safety equipment
Certain tasks require certain safety equipment. If you are on a certain job, you might be required to wear earplugs, hard hats, long sleeve chef coats, goggles and sometimes a full facial protection like welding masks. They are not decorative. They are designed to prevent injury and long-term damage.
Get plenty of rest
Physically demanding jobs, like most in the manual labour field of work, require a sharp mind and a well-rested body. You need to be performing at your very best every single day to stay safe. Someone suffering from lack of sleep and a worn down body can be as nearly as injury-prone as someone using drugs or drinking. A good night’s rest and proper nutrition will improve judgement and reaction time. A blog by the National Federation of Trainers has done a fantastic job of going into well-defined details concerning sleep and physical labour and the effects on safety. Take their advice and take your sleep time seriously.
These safety precautions and the ones in employee handbooks should not be taken lightly. Serious injury and death happen every day on job sites. Unfortunately, there are probably a lot that are avoidable if safety precautions were taken more seriously.
Do you know of any more ways an everyday manual labourer can stay safe? Tell us in the comments below.
Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys reading reading books out on the lake while kayaking.