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6 Essential Safety Principles for New Engineers

6 Essential Safety Principles for New Engineers

Flat lay composition with safety equipment on white background

By Katrina Hatchett

As a qualified engineer, you know how important it is to stay in tune with recent developments across a number of disciplines. Safety takes precedence.

Working in an industrial or manufacturing field brings with it any number of hazardous risks which must be intricately managed to ensure the safety of everyone on the premises. Every person on site may perform a different role, but everyone shares collective responsibility for the safety of others. As an engineer, your role is no different.

Here are six key safety considerations that every engineer should hold integral in the carrying out of their duties.

Give training the respect it deserves

The correct safety training is essential. Although risk awareness would have been a central component of your formal education, as you approach heading out into the workplace, safety training becomes an intense focus, and with very good reason.

Site safety is not only about your own well-being, but the well-being of everyone on the site. And carelessness not only affects you personally, but all those persons with whom you work. This is just one of the central tenets of the safety training you will receive before you embark on your role.

“Health and safety training will continue to be a running theme throughout your career as an engineer, and never fail to give it the respect it deserves. If nothing else, it keeps the concept of risk at the forefront of your mind, as it must, because although workplace accidents happen less frequently than they once did, even one accident is one too many,” says Tyler Charters, a technical engineer at WritemyX and Next Coursework.

Wear the correct clothing

Personal protective equipment (PPE) will become like a second layer of skin for you. High priority is placed on the wearing of the correct equipment in the form of hard hats, high-visibility vests, durable boots and then any other number of specialist pieces such as harnesses, depending on the specific role. Never be over-confident in your ability to perform your role without these essentials, and be vigilant with others respecting site clothing policies. When it comes to safety at work, rules exist for a reason.

Use the right tools

Anecdotal evidence around the home would tell you the folly in using the wrong tool for the task, and on site this danger is only heightened. Don’t cut corners by improvising on activities.  Use the correct piece of equipment at all times. It’s the innocuous activities that can cause so much damage.

Know your environment

Before you embark on your role, become inducted with your environment. Identify hazards early and perform regular walk-throughs to assess the changing nature of the work environment. Not only will you perform your role better, but you will have a greater understanding of the pressing safety issues that surround you.


Collaboration is one of the core principles of a safe workplace, and it is often in instances of poor communication that mistakes are made.

“Ensure clear and respectful dialogue with all you work with and flag any instances of flagrant behavior in terms of respect for safety protocols. Forge great working relationships which foster a safe working environment, and don’t be afraid to speak up when the need arises,” says Kate Ramirez, a safety officer at Brit Student and Australia 2 write.

Religiously perform risk assessments

Risk assessments are an essential element of site safety, and as an engineer you will be critical to their effective and timely completion. It is imperative that all risk assessments are performed at the earliest possible juncture, which means early in the design stage, or at the beginning of regular work practices. If any tasks need to be completed outside of the regular work routine, then these tasks require their own individual risk assessments. It is by cutting corners that the majority of mistakes are made, so never be blasé about such critical protocols, and give ample time and concentration to these core functions.

These six principles form the basis of safe operating procedures in the workplace and are essential to the successful completion of your activities as an engineer. Respect the environment, respect your colleagues, and respect the risk, and be aware that conditions are constantly evolving.

Katrina Hatchett is a lifestyle blogger at Academic Brits with a particular interesting in the art of communication. She is a regular writing contributor at Origin Writings, as well as a blogger at Phd Kingdom.