Avoiding Struck-by Incidents
Struck-by hazards are present when a worker could be injured by forcible contact or impact with an object or piece of equipment. Common struck-by hazards include:
- Flying objects —Struck-by hazards can result from objects when such items are thrown, hurled, ejected or propelled across a space.
- Falling objects —Objects may pose struck-by hazards when they are unexpectedly dropped or released from an elevated area to a lower level.
- Swinging objects —Items can present struck-by hazards when they twist or turn out of control while lifted into the air.
- Rolling objects —Struck-by hazards can occur when objects move or slide on the same level employees are located.
To avoid struck-by incidents and stay safe on the job, follow these precautions:
- Wear eye, face and head protection based on anticipated hazards and in line with company-specific personal protective equipment requirements.
- Receive proper safety training before operating vehicles, machines, powder-actuated tools and power tools.
- Inspect vehicles, machines and tools before use and confirm safety guards are in place and working correctly. Operate vehicles, machines and tools in line with manufacturer instructions.
- Wear high-visibility clothing when working near moving vehicles. Never cross the paths of moving vehicles and follow all exit, entry and escape routes in worksite traffic plans.
- Keep worksite materials with the potential to become airborne sufficiently stacked and secured to prevent them from sliding, falling or collapsing.
- Make sure all tools and materials are secure before performing overhead work. Leverage toe boards, screens, guardrails and debris nets as needed when conducting such work.
- Be alert to the location of any heavy equipment at the worksite, whether it’s in use or not. Stay clear of any loads being lifted by heavy equipment. Never work under suspended loads and beware of unbalanced loads.
- Attend and pay close attention during any additional workplace-specific safety training sessions regarding struck-by hazards.
For more information on struck-by hazards, talk to your supervisor.
Preventing Burnout at Work
The World Health Organization describes burnout as an “occupational phenomenon” often resulting from “chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” Common symptoms of burnout include exhaustion or energy depletion, decreased workplace engagement, increased feelings of job-related cynicism and reduced productivity.
Burnout not only affects employees’ overall well-being and job performance but also poses potential safety risks. In fact, recent research from the National Center for Biotechnology Information found burnout is associated with a greater likelihood of workplace accidents and related injuries. As such, it’s vital for employees like you to know how to identify and prevent burnout on the job.
Since prolonged and chronic workplace stress can lead to burnout, being able to recognize the signs of such stress can help you know when it’s time to make changes to ease the burden. Common job stressors include a heavy workload, intense pressure to perform at high levels, job insecurity, long work hours, excessive travel, office politics and conflicts with co-workers. While dealing with stress is a normal part of everyday life, here are some early warning signs that alert you to stress on the job:
- Anxiety or depression
- Low morale
- Short temper
- Stomach or back problems
Reducing your job stress is crucial for preventing burnout. Here are some simple ways to get your workplace stress under control:
- Plan and prioritize. When you’re feeling stressed out, don’t panic. Make a list of the tasks you need to complete, and set realistic deadlines.
- Focus on what you can control. You know what your job tasks are. Break the larger tasks into smaller, more manageable steps.
- Slow down. When you have a lot of tasks looming over you, it can be tempting to hurry through them just to get them off your plate. However, rushing through tasks can cause you to feel more stressed and increase your odds of making mistakes. Take a deep breath when you start to get overwhelmed and slow down.
- Maintain a good attitude. Try to think positively about tasks at work—avoid negative thinkers and always acknowledge your accomplishments, even if it’s just by mentally congratulating yourself.
If you feel burned out, talk to your supervisor, as they may be able to help you reduce your stress or direct you to valuable workplace resources.
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