From Awareness To Action: Workplace Safety Tips You Need To Know


A safe workplace is a happy and healthy workplace, as it creates a more comfortable and conducive environment for employees to do their jobs effectively. Ensuring a healthy workspace for an employee is essential not only for their physical well-being but also for their emotional and mental health. To emphasize the importance of workplace safety and health, the World Day for Safety and Health at Work is celebrated annually on 28 April. Initiated first by the International Labour Organization in 2003, World Safety and Health Day has now been adopted by the United Nations and is observed worldwide[1]. This day is dedicated to creating awareness and promoting safety at the workplace, and highlighting the role of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH).

Based on this year’s theme, “A safe and healthy working environment as a fundamental principle and right at work”, we have put together a list of workplace safety tips that you should incorporate to create a safer work environment[2-5]:

1. Be mindful of ergonomics: Take note of ergonomics and adjust your workstation to prevent strain or injury due to repetitive movement or awkward postures. A poor posture can strain your back, neck, and shoulders, leading to serious and life-long injuries. Ensure that your head is centered over your neck and shoulders, your wrists are flat, and your elbows are resting comfortably at your side to maintain a normal posture. Use a footrest if your feet won’t touch the ground unless you lean forward.

2. Follow the 20/20 rule: If your work demands maximum time of the day to be spent in front of a screen, then it is important to not only understand the risks involved but take preventative steps to safeguard your eyesight. Following the 20/20 rule, in which you spend 20 minutes looking at the screen, and then 20 seconds staring 20 feet in front of you, can reduce eye strain and fatigue. Apart from this, position and angle your screen at a comfortable distance to reduce eye strain, and adjust the lighting in your workspace to minimize glare.

3. Declutter your workstation: A tidy workplace is not only visually appealing but also safer. Clean up spills immediately, and remove all unnecessary items from your workstation. Also, secure and cover cords properly to avoid trip hazards, keep aisles or walkways free of clutter, and store all materials like files and boxes in their proper location to prevent the buildup of clutter. Clean and sanitize your workstation regularly to keep it free of harmful germs and viruses.

4. Close cabinet drawers completely: Although it may seem like open cabinets or drawers aren’t a big deal, they can cause serious injuries. Remember to close your drawers as soon as you are done using them to prevent collision and tripping. Also, do not store any heavy materials on top of cabinets since this could cause them to trip and harm the person nearby.

5. Take mini breaks: Stress is a silent killer, and workplace stress can make you susceptible to various other diseases. Take short breaks by talking to your colleagues, stretching your arms, or taking deep breaths to unwind and rejuvenate. You can also keep a small plant at your desk as the green color can also help soothe strained eyes. Take a 5-minute break to water the plant or maybe wipe the leaves.

6. Maintain hygiene at work: Office hygiene is as important as personal hygiene and is a real safety concern. Spending long hours at work makes it imperative to follow certain rules like using hand sanitizers, washing hands properly, and wearing masks to prevent contracting and spreading infections. Also, avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose, as these are the most vulnerable body parts when it comes to infections. Along with this, wipe your keyboards and mouse daily with antibacterial wipes, throw away any used tissues only in the trash can, and avoid eating at your workstation.

7. Know your office emergency procedures: Make sure you know how and where to exit safely in the event of an evacuation like fire, earthquake, etc. Know where the first-aid kits are and which staff members are trained to administer first aid in case of an emergency.

8. Report unsafe conditions: Promptly report workplace accidents or safety incidents to the supervisor or management to ensure appropriate action can be taken to mitigate the risks.

9. Other safety tips:

-Commonly, falls on stairs occur when the person is talking and turning to friends while going downstairs. Therefore, be alert while using stairways.
-Avoid leaning back in the chair and placing your feet on the wall.
-Never store pens or pencils in a glass on the desk with them pointing upward.
-Do not operate any electronic appliances in the cafeteria or washroom unless you are sure about their mechanism.
-Watch out for slippery floors during the cleaning process by the housekeeping staff.
-Always be aware of your surroundings so you can react appropriately if something dangerous should happen.
-Use a headset for prolonged or frequent phone use since cradling the phone between your shoulder and ear can cause neck and back pain.

The World Day for Safety and Health at Work provides an opportunity to acknowledge the importance of occupational safety and health issues and serves as a reminder that we all have a role to play in promoting safer and healthier workplaces.

(The article is written by Monalisa Deka, Senior Health Content Editor, and reviewed by Dr. Swati Mishra, Medical Editor)


1. United Nations. World Day for Safety and Health at Work. 2023. Available online:
2. Government of India. General points of safety. Available online:
3. U.S. Department of Labor. Office Safety Guidelines. Available online:
4. Tamers SL, Streit J, Pana-Cryan MSR, et al. Envisioning the future of work to safeguard the safety, health, and well-being of the workforce: A perspective from the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Am J Ind Med. 2020 ;63(12):1065-1084. Available online:
5. Patel RH, Davis DD. Occupational Safety and Health Administration Rules That Affect Healthcare. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023. Available online:

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