Are Your Employees' Attitudes About Safety In Check?

08.06.15   Mark A. Halloway, OHST | More by this Author

Are Your Employees' Attitudes About Safety In Check?

Most of us had some type of safety training during childhood. We were taught to look both ways before crossing streets and not to play with matches. As adults, we are warned by others and by the media to avoid touching light switches with wet hands, to avoid staying out in the sun too long, and to avoid standing on a chair to get something out of reach. As common as these safety rules may be, how many of us can truthfully say that we have never broken at least one of them?

Employees often neglect safety rules because they are in a hurry. They figure accidents always happen to other people, or view safety rules/procedures as a time-consuming hindrance to getting the job done quickly. Every time employees engage in unsafe acts, they are taking a gamble, betting that an accident won’t occur.

When employees are aware of safety rules and break them anyway, they have unsafe attitudes. Picture a lab technician who neglects to wear eye protection while working with harmful liquids that could splash the face. This employee is demonstrating an unsafe attitude. People with lackadaisical attitudes about safety blame accidents on the "law of averages." But accidents don’t just happen—they are caused. Most accidents happen as a result of an unsafe condition, a poor attitude, or both.

You may know all the safety rules and may even be able to demonstrate the safe way to complete a task. Knowing every safety rule will not protect you if you fail to use that knowledge daily on the job. The next time you are about to break a safety rule, stop and think about what could happen to you, your co-workers, or your family. Imagine the pain, the inconvenience, and the lost time and money that could result. Then do the job correctly, the safe way. Soon you’ll notice safety becoming a habit.

No one can say when an unsafe condition or act will result in an accident, when an accident will result in injury, or when injury will cause permanent disability or even death. You must resolve to work safely and never take chances with your health or life or those of your coworkers. A good safety attitude toward laws, rules, and housekeeping practices is the best way to protect yourself and your fellow employees from accidents.

TAGS: Safety

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