Walking ... you take it for granted, but do you do it safely?
Dr. Isabel Perry, “The Safety Doctor”
We’ve been walking for most of our lives. We walk without thinking ... and often without looking. When we’re at home, we know where the furniture is, where the steps are, where doors and appliances are.
Accidents happen when a child leaves a toy on the floor, or the dog stretches out across a walk area, or someone moves a piece of furniture without telling us. If we’re not looking where we’re walking, we risk becoming a statistic.
At work, you probably know where every single thing is located in your office or at your workstation. Unfortunately, the moment you move outside your area, you should treat the environment as though you are a stranger there for the first time. That may sound odd, but it will ensure that you don’t become a statistic at work.
No matter where you’re walking:
- Stick to the approved walk areas.
- Don’t be tempted to jump over obstacles to take shortcuts.
- If you must read something, stop – read, and then proceed
- When going into restricted areas, check to see what safety regulations they have
- Do you have to wear safety hat or goggles?
- Do you have to wear special clothing?
- Look around you and be alert to potential dangers
- Watch for moving vehicles or handtrucks
- Watch for headroom
- Make sure that loose fitting clothing doesn’t get near machinery or moving objects
- Going around blind corners, look at the corner mirrors that have been provided
- If crossing an aisle, look both ways before you step into the aisle
- Use the handrail when going up or down stairs. It’s not necessary to have a death grip on the handrail, but if your hand is gliding along it, you will have no problem reaching the rail if you slip.
- When going up and down stairs, put your full foot on the step. Failure to do so, or putting only the toes and ball of your foot on the step going up, can mean a fall.
Does this sound like things you would do while out on the street? They are! When we’re on the job daily we tend to get careless because everything is familiar. But when we stop paying close attention to what we’re doing, accidents happen.
Final words of caution:
When we don’t stay focused on what we’re doing, we have accidents. No matter where you are:
- Check for blind spots
- Don’t get too close to power or hand trucks
- Stay out of restricted areas
- Watch for moving equipment
- Watch for possible hazards that cause slipping or tripping
Every day people are injured because they are not paying attention to where they are going and what is happening around them. Focus on what you are doing, and stay safe.