Kevin Ian Schmidt

Ignoring Workplace Safety

Most companies put up safety information but the workers don’t believe in it. They walk into the lunch room or locker room and see safety information plastered all over the walls. The workers seem to ignore these signs as they fail to put on their safety glasses, don’t use their work gloves and play with chemicals like they were washing their car.
The worst part about this is that many companies don’t seem to care much about safety either. As managers and labor relations representatives walk through the shop floor they conveniently ignore violations. Thus people come to understand that safety really isn’t that important because the company doesn’t believe that safety is important.

The cost of workplace injuries every year is around 45 billion dollars. This doesn’t include any cost associated with unreported injuries or those injuries that develop over a lifetime(i.e. carpal tunnel). With the high cost of injuries the total cost of workman’s compensation can rise. As this cost rises it means that the company is losing revenue unnecessarily.

As managers and labor relations representatives ignore these problems they may also be putting themselves into a situation where they can be sued. For example, let us say that the proper OSHA training is not given, none of the safety procedures are enforced and people who violate these procedures do not receive discipline. It will be perceived as though the organization is being negligent and forgetful.

How to Improve Workplace Safety:

1.) Postings: Make sure that postings and safety instructions are listed within your workplace. You will also want to include emergency procedures that any employee is empowered to use if there is a serious injury.

2.) Training: Train your employees on how to handle equipment properly, put them through a safety classes, and give them basic first aid training. By doing this you are showing that you, as the employer, are being proactive with any future safety problems.

Check Out: 10 Reasons Why Safety Training is Often Ineffective

3.) Documentation: Keep excellent OSHA documentation so that you have a list of injuries. Make sure that this documentation is up to date and has enough information to be useful for tracking high risk areas within the building.

4.) Enforce the Policy: Employers have a responsibility to enforce the procedures as much as they possibly can. That means not ignoring the problem or letting the problem linger. Each and every time you fail to write up a person for not wearing their safety glasses you are risking a lawsuit.

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