Warning labels, caution tape, safety cones, barriers are all meant to alert workers to potential job-site dangers in an effort to keep them safe. But hazard notifications can’t do their job if they’re ignored.
Who’s responsible for your safety at work? Of course, safety engineers and supervisors have a responsibility to notify workers of risks and make sure required equipment is properly maintained. But, even more important, individuals need to play an active role in their own and others’ safety. It truly is a team effort.
For example, the boss may have given you verbal or written training on using specific tools, but he or she can’t understand the information for you. You need to make sure you know what you’re supposed to do or not do before you use the equipment. That means you may need further information, answers to questions, or additional training. But, unless you speak up, your supervisor won’t know if you don’t understand something! When it comes to staying safe at work, there’s no such thing as knowing too much.
And what about co-workers? What would you do if you saw someone ignoring safety procedures? Remember, when you work on a team, “no man is an island” when it comes to on-the-job safety. What you do can affect others, and vice versa.
Cutting corners on safety measures is often the starting point for accidents. Frequent on-the-job accidents are stressful to everyone. You can’t perform at peak level if you’re worried about your safety and health. If a trusted co-worker suffers a career-ending disability, not only is there emotional loss for the rest of the crew, the urgency and anxiety of having to replace that person also affects everyone to some degree.
Accidents have an unwelcome “cause and effect” influence on employees’ earning power:
- An accident directly affects productivity;
- which affects the company’s ability to compete and retain business;
- losing clients means less money for wages and benefits;
- and it may mean higher insurance premiums, which also takes money away from wages and benefits and the ability to bring in more business.
It’s a vicious cycle, but one every worker has the power to break: Eliminate accidents and you help grow the business. That’s what your company leaders want. Can you help them reach that goal?
This article is only for general information and recommendations regarding risk prevention and should not be considered legal or other expert advice. The recommendations presented may help reduce or eliminate the risk of loss, but are not guaranteed to do so. Seek qualified counsel with questions specific to your circumstances. ©2016 Federated Mutual Insurance Company.
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