When it comes to safety and operating safely in the workplace, employers will sometimes say to me “Its common sense”. I tend to agree. However, the difficulty is : “common sense is learnt over time and at different rates for different people”. Its dependent on knowledge learnt over time.
So, what about the meantime. What about the new employee who hasn’t had time to learn, in relation to that piece of equipment or that risky work process, yet.
It makes sense (perhaps “common sense”) to have a standard safety process for using that piece of equipment or carrying out that difficult work process. A process that all agree to (new employee’s and long-term campaigner’s!) All being on the same page.
Write it down. Make it formal. Discuss it. Get agreement. Reinforce it. It may save a life. (or a finger!)
I’m sometimes asked, why record near misses. No one was hurt, so things carry on as usual.
Well not quite. There’s an opportunity to learn from what could have been a serious injury.
Here’s a few scenario’s.
All things, that depending on your line of work, might occur at any time.
At least two things happen when we investigate and record:
1)The bottom line on most recording forms is : “Action”. In other words what are we going to do to ensure it doesn’t happen again. By writing it down we are becoming a little accountable. We are going to follow through with a solution.
2) In a bigger firm with many employee’s it’s harder to know what’s going on, on the shop floor. The record helps to show if there’s a reoccurring situation. (This may also be the case with a smaller firm when the boss is not there all the time).
I read an article recently about why many near misses aren’t reported by employees. The bottom line. Embarrassment!
Sometimes there’s an attitude in the workplace of “She’s accident prone” or “He’s a frequent flyer”. The employee doesn’t want to be labelled, so doesn’t report it. (That goes for actual accidents as well as near misses).
Second most common reason: The employee doesn’t think management takes Health and Safety seriously, so doesn’t bother reporting.
We all want our staff to go home safety at the end of the day. It makes good economic sense too. Fewer injuries mean less down time and a better bottom line.
Worth thinking about?
Bob is passionate about good workplace Health and Safety. Hes experienced , qualified, easy to talk to and always available.