About Staffing wants to make sure that our employees are working within the safest environments possible. We make sure to do an inspection of all job sites and ask as many questions regarding the job as we can. You can be assured that your recruiter will make sure you are appropriately prepared for your assignment and that you have all the needed tools at your disposal. However, despite all that we do to ensure your safety, sometimes there will be things that are beyond our control. In these circumstances, we ask all of our employees to be aware that you are not expected to work in dangerous or unsafe work environments. Workers in Alberta can refuse work which they believe puts them in imminent danger, or puts another worker in imminent danger.
If you feel the conditions in which you are working are dangerous, or you are asked to do something that you feel is unsafe, please do not hesitate to refuse the work and call your recruiter immediately. For more information on work saftey, please visit the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Those who work in an office environment may think that they don’t have to worry about safety in the workplace. In fact, although hazards are different then field work, there are many things you should look out for as follows:
- Shelves, racks or filing cabinets – SRFCs that are top-heavy, over-loaded, not properly braced, or unbalanced can fall onto the worker causing entrapment, punctures, crushing, or other serious injury.
- If it can be avoided, do NOT work around overloaded, or otherwise compromised, SRFCs. Fully extending the top drawer of a large, full filing cabinet is very dangerous. Ensure that the heaviest items are loaded onto the bottom of the SRFC. ALWAYS ask for assisstance when retrieving high, heavy files/boxes from SRFCs.
- Boxes, Binders or mail bins – Lifting heavy items can strain your back if not performed properly. Know your lifting limits and be sure to communicate these to About Staffing and your supervisor. Ask for assisstance when lifting anything above your limit. Use proper lifting technique: http://bit.ly/11tnwX7
- Typing on keyboard/computer – Improperly setup equipment can cause ergonomic strain and injury. Position yourself and your equipment to conform with correct ergonomic posture.
- Using the telephone can cause ergonomic strain and injury if handsets that are inappropriate for the frequency/duration of use are used. Avoid kinking your neck to the side to use the handset in a hands-free manner. If hands-free operation is required, request a hands-free headset from your supervisor.
Handling powered appliances (e.g. toaster, paper shredder, etc.)
- Appliances that are damaged can cause injury or electrocution if in use. Be sure to not use any electrical or mechanical appliances that appear to be damaged or poorly maintained. Use all appliances in the manner that they are intended.
- Cleaning can expose individuals to hazardous chemicals and materials. In the event that you are required to do any cleaning, be sure to read the labels and hazards of any cleaning product. If required, consult the Material Safety Data Sheet (available online for any chemical if not provided on the premises) to find out Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) you require for safe handling and usage. Request PPE from About Staffing or Supervisor.
- Evacuation from a building can be hazardous during times of high stress; tripping, trampling, and smoke inhalation become risks during a fire evacuation.
Upon starting an assignment, ask the supervisor where the exits and exit stairways are located. Ask the supervisor where the official muster point is located outside of the building. Create a mental route for exiting the building upon hearing the fire alarm. Exit calmly from the building ALL times that you hear a fire bell ring, even if you suspect it to be a drill or malfunction.
- Working alone can increase the consequence of being exposed to any hazard by not having access to immediate assistance. Avoid working alone by asking a supervisor or co-worker to stay with you on the premises if you needed. If working alone is constant for your assignment, be sure to have instant access to assistance over the phone or by transceiver radio. If you feel uncomfortable working alone on the assignment, decline the assignment and notify About Staffing.
- Volatile individuals entering the business premises without the purpose of doing business – Working at a reception desk for a street-level business positions you as the first point of contact for people coming in off the street. Be sure to have access to immediate assistance while working at a reception desk in a street-level business. If someone from the street is making you feel uncomfortable, ask your supervisor or a co-worker for assisstance in handling the situation. Remove yourelf from the situation if required.
- Workplace violence– Individuals who are prone to expressing emotions through verbal, physical, or emotional violence can occasionally be found in the workplace. If being confronted with aggression from another person, take care not to act in a way that could escalate their aggression. If possible, remove yourself from the situation immediately and report the incident to About Staffing.