Workplace safety is a two-way street, meaning both management and the employees are equally responsible in promoting a safety culture at their place of work. The employer has overall responsibility for the health and safety of the workers but the workers also have legal obligations to work safely and report hazards.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) calls for workers to be responsible for working safely, immediately reporting hazards and using and wearing protective gear.
Workers are required to use machinery and equipment the way they were trained to use these. In fact, it is against the law to remove a guard or a device installed to protect a worker. Tampering with such protective devices may put the user at risk and hold the person who removed them legally responsible for the consequences.
If ever in doubt, always ask questions especially prior to undertaking a task without sufficient training.
Be proactive in reporting unsafe conditions. Immediately bring these hazards to the attention of supervisors or other responsible parties. Usually, it is the person trained to do a particular task who knows when there is something wrong with the equipment being used or the working conditions have become dangerous.
Use or Wear Protective Gear
Employers are responsible to conduct training to to workers on how to properly wear protective gear, afterwhich wearing these becomes the responsibility of the worker to wear them when necessary.
Standard protective gear include hair nets, rubber gloves, dust masks, aprons, hearing protection, safety boots, goggles, among others. Wearing the proper protective equipment is not only a job requirement, it is mandated by law.
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