Know Your Limits at Work

know your limits toolbox talkKnow Your Limits Safety Talk

We often face new situations or challenging times, whether that is at home, at work, or just in life overall. For many of us, it can be hard to swallow our pride and seek out help from others when we need assistance. That being said, it is important to understand your limits and know when you need help from someone else.

Your Limits at Work

For most people working full-time, 8 to 12 hours a day is spent at work Monday through Friday. Work is a large majority of our lives. We often want to succeed and do well in our jobs or profession. Because of this fact, we push our limits at times, whether that is physically or mentally, to try to do our best. While good things such as personal growth can come from pushing your limits, there is a point and certain situations when this is not appropriate. Any time you are pushing your limits to a point where you, someone else, or property is at risk, you need to stop work and seek assistance.

Examples of Knowing Your Limit

  • You go to pick up a large object that is heavy and awkward to handle. You do not want to reinjure an existing back injury, so you decide to stop and ask for help from a coworker to lift the object.
  • You have been working on a software program for weeks. You have been running into the same problems over and over while trying to code the program. Your frustration has got to a point that you can no longer focus on your task, and your mood has become increasingly negative. You decide to step away from the project for a few days to work on other items. When you come back to the program, you ask for assistance from a more experienced coworker, and the issues are quickly resolved.
  • Your supervisor asks you to run a different piece of heavy equipment than you normally do because another coworker has missed work. You get into the piece of equipment but realize you have no clue how to run it safely. Instead of trying to figure it out on your own, you stop the supervisor and get some guidance on how to operate the equipment properly.


There are many different times when we are pushed to our limits. While we can learn a lot from being outside our comfort zone, it also can be dangerous when dealing with these situations at work. It is important to have enough self-awareness to know when enough is enough. Taking the time to stop and seek out assistance when you know you are past your limits may make the difference in whether an injury occurs or not.

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