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Safety at Work

Almost any crime that can happen at home or in your neighborhood can happen in the workplace. But using the same common sense and prevention skills you use at home can help make life at work safer for all.

Keep valuable items locked up.

Keep valuable items such as money, credit cards, and jewelry with you at all times or locked in a drawer or closet. If you handle confidential information for your company, be sure you keep it locked safely in a drawer or cabinet when you are away and out of sight when there are visitors in your office.

Watch out for strangers.

Make sure that office visitors show identification and are signed in and out. Report anyone who seems out of place, including coworkers who are in off-limit areas (for example locked offices or confidential file rooms.)

Report broken locks and windows, and badly lit areas.

Take extra care in areas where you may be isolated, such as stairwells, restrooms, and elevators. Let office mates know where you'll be - whether it's arriving or working late, going to a lunch meeting, or spending the afternoon in the file room.

Don't work late alone.

Create a buddy system for walking to parking lots or public transportation or ask security to escort you.

Report inappropriate or worrisome behavior in coworkers.

While everyone wants to get along with his or her coworkers, this doesn't mean having to accept inappropriate or frightening behavior. If someone says inappropriate things, acts oddly, or behaves violently in any way (including towards inanimate objects as well as people), report their behavior to your supervisor. Everyone has a right to feel safe and comfortable in his or her work environment.

Protect your employers.

Just as your employers have an obligation to keep you safe, you have an obligation to keep them and their property protected. Don't give out important or confidential information about the company or employees. Don't filch from the cash drawer or coffee fund (or allow others to.) If you see others stealing from the company, report it. Use the equipment (desk, computers, office supplies) like you would your own and as if you had paid for it yourself. Above all, obey all fire codes, company regulations, and safety rules laid out by your employers.

Know your rights.

You have the right to feel comfortable in your work environment and be treated fairly. Find out more about your employee rights under the ADA by visiting the ADA class on this Web site and the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA.)

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