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  • Advice for International Students: Health and Safety in Your Part-Time Job

    Advice for International Students: Health and Safety in Your Part-Time Job
    Monday, December 17, 2018

    Maintaining a safe working environment requires more than just practice guidelines and policies: workplace safety can only be achieved if everyone in the organisation adheres to safety standards.

    As an international student in the UK, you may want to take up a part-time or summer job to gain some work experience, or it may be part of your course to take a work placement. Either way, it’s important to keep in mind that everyone is entitled to work in a safe environment where risks to their health and safety are properly controlled.

    It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so here are some of the easiest ways to prevent yourself from becoming more vulnerable or putting yourself in potentially dangerous situations at work.

     

    Keep Correct Posture

    If your work involves sitting (or stooping) a lot and using a computer, you need to know how to adjust the equipment to provide a comfortable way of sitting/stooping and working. This will ensure that you keep your shoulders in line with your hips to avoid back problems.

    As you get into work and turn on the computer at the start of each shift, take a moment to...

    • Check your posture
    • Sit back in your chair and use a backrest for support
    • Raise your seat to keep your forearms horizontal and your shoulders relaxed
    • Make sure your wrists are straight when your hands are on the keyboard
    • Place the monitor about an arm's length away, and adjust the screen’s brightness and contrast if necessary

    Take Regular Breaks

    A number of work-related injuries and illnesses can occur when you’re tired, burned out, or generally unaware of your surroundings. Taking regular short breaks helps you stay fresh and alert on the job, and it gives the muscles a chance to relax – even if you’re only working 12 hours a week!

    Refrain from sitting in the same position for long periods; make sure you take short breaks when you’ve remained seated in the same position for a while, and stand up or move around with good posture.

     

    Stay Sober

    It's no secret that alcohol tends to go hand-in-hand with university life, but did you know that around 3% of workplace fatalities occur due to alcohol?

    When your ability to exercise judgment, coordination, motor-control, concentration, or alertness is compromised, you expose yourself to any number of risks for workplace injury – which can be easily avoided if you just pay attention to when, what, and how much you drink the day before a shift.

     

    Be Tidy

    Make sure that every corner of your workspace is kept clean, organised, and clutter-free, because slipping and tripping at work is usually caused by scattered objects or by spillages on the floor – but that’s not the only way clutter influences your workplace negatively.

    Clutter can really influence the way you work. If you're too disorganised, everything competes for your attention and makes it hard to focus, leaving you unproductive and flustered at work. Not to mention that it can affect perceptions of your professionalism. Clutter can also cause stress in the workplace, which in turn can reduce your cognitive abilities, meaning you’ll be clumsier and more prone to mistakes and accidents.

    While we’re on the subject of stress...

     

    Speak Up

    Stress can lead to depression and concentration problems. Common causes of workplace stress include long shifts, heavy workloads, and conflicts with coworkers or managers. Having a part-time job while you’re away from loved ones – and juggling your studies at the same time – can be stressful.

    Be sure to speak up to your supervisor or a counselor on campus if you have any concerns about work- or school-related stress, because they might be able to help you address them – or they should know someone who can.

     

    Author Bio:

    This article is written by defibshop: the UK's only independent defibrillator retailer. defibshop is working hard to ensure that businesses across the country are investing in their staff by purchasing defibrillators for their premises.

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