Regardless of whether your workplace seems especially hazardous or not, there are always things that can go wrong. From a home office to a construction site, large office building, medical facility, or job on the road, there are plenty of potential disasters that could be dangerous to you and those around you. Fear is not the answer, though. You need to keep a level head and take specific steps to educate and protect yourself and others from specific hazards.
Workplaces today run more electrical devices than ever before. Particularly in an older building, it's important that all of the equipment is correctly plugged into the building's wiring, and that the wiring is up to code. If you ever notice electrical equipment that is damaged, stop using it right away and notify your employer. Electrical fires are a huge workplace hazard, as is electrical shock from working with or trying to repair damaged equipment. One practical preventive measure you can take in an office is to ensure that you aren't overloading your power strip with all of your electronics at your desk. Keep them turned off or unplugged when you aren't using them.
Theft in the Workplace
Particularly if you work in a large workplace with a lot of people coming and going, any of them could have malicious intent. Therefore, pay attention to protecting your valuables in the workplace. Use your locked cabinets or file drawers to store sensitive documents, cash, or other valuables, and never leave your purse or wallet unattended at your desk. Ensure that all of your valuable equipment is engraved with the company name and identification number so it is harder for a thief to resell. Lastly, keep your eye out for suspicious people who don't seem to belong in your office and notify superiors or the authorities if someone is behaving strangely.
Battery and Robbery
Although you aren't likely to be a victim of battery and robbery while you're in your workplace itself, your safety may be in jeopardy as you are coming and going. You should always be alert when walking between your car and your workplace, or if you use public transportation, when you're waiting for the bus or train and when you're on it. Be constantly scanning your surroundings and watching for places where someone may be waiting to attack you.
In particular, if you'll be traveling to and from work early in the morning and late at night when not many people are around, do everything you can to minimize the amount of time you'll be alone between your work and vehicle. If you have to park far away from your building when you arrive, move your car closer in the afternoon before everyone else leaves. Also have someone who you call every day to let them know you have either arrived at work safely or are leaving work safely. That way they can know to alert authorities if they haven't gotten a call from you at the usual time.
Although your company's IT department likely has many measures in place to protect the company's secure information from theft or attack, you need to do your part as well. You should never write down your passwords, and always log out when you're done using a computer in a public area. In addition, if you access secure work information through a mobile device, make sure you either log out when you are done or have a secure password on your mobile device that you need to enter every time you start using it again. You don't want to be the pathway through which a malicious user gains access to the company's secure information.
The last realm of workplace safety you need to attend to is the set of procedures to follow in an emergency situation. Most workplaces have occasional fire drills, and if yours does not, bring this to the office manager's attention. Everyone needs to know the procedures to follow in an emergency, and these should be part of new employee orientation and periodic drills. In an actual emergency situation, be ready to quickly and calmly guide others to safety. Lastly, take all potential emergencies seriously, and don't dawdle if the fire alarms go off but you suspect it's just a routine drill.
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Your safety in the workplace is largely in your own hands. Although your employers have a responsibility to maintain the facility and procedures according to legal codes, there are still plenty of disasters that can occur within those bounds. Your attention to detail and forethought about what to do in emergencies can protect you from harm. In addition, you should be keeping an eye on your coworkers so you all stay safe in the workplace.