Each year brings about new resolutions that range from the achievable to the downright absurd. Most resolutions tend to center around personal well-being, however, very few take the time to ponder on how to improve health and safety while in the workplace. Here are some resolutions that focus on workplace safety for the New Year.  

Look back on the past year. Review the accidents of the year that just ended. Have there been any documented health and safety hazards? How about slips and falls? Fall Protection Violations? Were safety trainings sufficient throughout the year? Use the happenings from the year before to create better resolutions regarding safety at the workplace.  

Review company policies on health and safety. Take some time to look through company policies, and review health and safety rules and regulations. Know your rights as an employee and find out if the company that you’re working for has provided sufficient information on keeping you safe in the workplace.  

Ask questions. Some tasks may be too dangerous, or too difficult for one single person to perform. When in doubt about the safety of a certain job, don’t be afraid to speak out. Asking questions opens the line of communication between the worker and management and may prompt the modification of safety rules and regulations in the workplace.  

Inspect personal safety equipment and gear. The holiday season preceding the New Year is a great time to inspect safety equipment. Is your full body harness and vests still in good working condition? Do your boots need replacing due to wear? Don’t skimp on this resolution and ensure all your safety equipment and gear are in tip-top shape before starting work in the New Year. Otherwise, it’s out with the old, and in with the new.  

Acknowledge distractions – and throw them away. Activities that distract from tasks that need to be accomplished are distractions that should be thrown away along with the year that just ended. These distractions take away from the concentration that should be poured into the task at hand. One seemingly small slip may have serious repercussions in the form of health and safety risks, or worse, loss of life. Keep these distractions at bay when working and focus on the job that needs to be done.  

Know who to call in an emergency. For any workplace-related concerns, knowing who to call or approach is as vital as knowing how to avoid hazardous situations. Emergency situations call for immediate action, so it’s best to find out beforehand who to turn to for those times when safety is compromised at work. Always make sure you have the most current emergency contact list ready and available when you need it.  

After all, health and safety should always come first. By resolving to act on improving the health and safety in the workplace, it not only ensures personal safety, but also makes the environment safe and ideal for others as well.  Have a safe and Happy New Year.