Blue-collar workers perform manual labor, with many working near heavy moving machinery and equipment or in worksites that have hazardous materials. The wide range of industries that employ blue-collar professionals includes mining, manufacturing, maintenance, and construction.
While each worksite differs, some general rules apply to all blue-collar workers. To stay physically safe and promote a positive work environment, follow this list of the best safety tips for blue-collar workers.
Wear Personal Protective Equipment
It’s critical that people wear the right personal protective equipment (PPE) at work. Depending on your job, you might need PPE to protect your skin, eyes, face, hands, or feet.
One of the most worn types of PPE is high-visibility apparel. The materials used in hi-vis clothes make the wearer more visible in low light conditions and at night because the colors contrast with the wearer’s surroundings. Hi-vis clothes can protect you from collisions with moving equipment, traffic, and other pedestrians.
One of the best safety tips for blue-collar workers is to stay hydrated. While everyone requires water for their mental and physical processes, your higher physical activity and demands make it especially important to drink enough water.
Common signs that you need to drink water include headaches, a lack of energy, feeling thirsty, and a dry mouth and lips. If you perform intense physical activity, consider drinking a sports drink or coconut water in addition to your regular water to restore electrolytes.
Report Unsafe Conditions or Practices
Follow your workplace’s guidelines for best practices to ensure you do your job safely and correctly. If you find unsafe conditions at work or see another worker doing something unsafe, report it.
Unsafe work conditions include inadequate warning systems, uneven or slippery floors, exposed electrical wiring, obstructed exits, and a lack of PPE. Alert your employer to the problem. If necessary, submit a formal complaint to OSHA by mail, online, or in person.
Wearing PPE protects your body from hazardous materials. Hi-vis apparel is one type of PPE that protects you by making you more visible at the worksite. Stay hydrated at work to power you through your activity. And if you see unsafe practices or conditions at work, report them so that your employer corrects them.