Today I Want To Ask A Question... - 02/22/2016

Safety E-QuickTips

U.S. Compliance Systems, Inc.

Monday, February 22, 2016

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Safety E-QuickTips is a weekly email designed to help Employers and Employees start their week with a short thought about safety in the workplace.

Today I Want To Ask A Question...

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Over the years I've represented my share of employers who have had serious accidents and even fatalities in meetings with OSHA. In each case there is no question in my mind that the accidents and fatalities were preventable.

I recall 2 fatalities specifically where each of the individuals killed were told by other employees that they were not working safely and that they shouldn't be doing it that way.

So today I want to ask a question.

If you saw one of your fellow employees working in an unsafe manner that you knew could lead to a serious accident, what would you do?

Would you:

  • Ask them to stop what they are doing and let them know a safe way to perform their work and hope they take your advice?
  • Ask them to stop what they are doing and insist they do it safely or you'll let management know?
  • Not say anything, let them keep working in an unsafe manner and hope for the best?

When it comes to working safely most employees find it very difficult to tell a fellow employee to stop working in an unsafe manner. Why is that? Most say that it's none of their business and they don't believe they have the right to tell someone else how to work because they wouldn't want someone else telling them.

Anyway, wouldn't the employee who's working unsafely probably just tell you to mind your own business or let you know he or she has been doing it this way for the past X years and nothing bad has happened yet?

Now let's talk to management for a minute.

If you saw one of one of your employees working in an unsafe manner that you knew could lead to a serious accident, what would you do?

Would you:

  • Ask them to stop what they are doing and let them know a safe way to perform their work and hope they take your advice?
  • Ask them to stop what they are doing and insist they do it safely or you’ll write them up for a safety violation?
  • Tell them to stop, write them up for a safety violation, and then provide any retraining necessary to help ensure they don’t do it again?
  • Not say anything, let them keep working in an unsafe manner and hope for the best?

When I talk with most management about writing employees up for safety violations, I’m usually told they don’t like to do that. They say the employees don’t respect them for trying to keep them working safely so it’s more of a hassle than it is worth.

When it comes to workplace safety, we all have a responsibility to work safe and to help ensure others do the same. We don’t have the right to “Let them keep on working in an unsafe manner and hope for the best.”

Why? Because who of you wants to see someone working alongside you or under your supervision get seriously hurt while on the job? Could I see a raise of hands? Guessing there are no hands raised, so I think I’ve made my point.

Do your job as an employee and/or management and let those working with you know that their safety is important to you even if they challenge it. The life you save may be theirs.

And if you’re approached by another employee or management and are asked to stop working in an unsafe manner, please listen and respect what they are trying to do for you because the life you might save may be your own.

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Contact Information

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U.S. Compliance Systems, Inc.
Phone: 1-888-475-5353
Fax: 1-888-925-5353
Website: www.uscompliancesystems.com
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