The safety of employees within the workplace is a top priority for most employers. However, even with safety in mind accidents can happen. In fact, accidents are still happening every day in the workplace and sadly nearly all of them are preventable. A combination of comprehensive training and good communication are two components that are essential to make any workplace safety plan more effective.
A leader within the field of workplace safety is Dave Weber the owner and operator of www.safetyawakenings.com. Dave has over 40 years of workplace safety experience. His versatile portfolio of background experiences range from managing corporate health & safety departments, to working as a safety inspector and industrial hygienist for OSHA, all the way to teaching as an assistant professor at two universities. Dave is a helpful resource when it comes to having any questions or needing any help with implementing workplace safety tactics.
Since Dave has such extensive knowledge on the topic of workplace safety, we thought it would be nice to give him an opportunity to share some key pieces of safety information through four interview style questions.
1. In your opinion, what are the most important things employers can do to enhance overall workplace safety?
First, ownership should actively solicit safety suggestions from employees, and be willing to spend the money to address all valid recommendations.
Second, each state has an OSHA consultation division. The employer should contact them and request wall-to-wall safety and health audits of their plants. Nothing like having an expert come in and tell you how you’re doing at control hazards and complying with safety regulations.
2. What are some of the most common mistakes employers make when developing or implementing a workplace safety plan?
Putting it on the shelf to collect dust. A workplace safety plan needs to fully implemented and kept up to date. Too many employers simply take a boiler-plate safety plan, type their name on the cover, and set it on a shelf for when the insurance or OSHA inspectors come by.
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3. Can you provide us with a safety experience that has had an impact within your professional life?
A fellow that I knew pretty well died at a place where I was the Safety Manager. He was an accident repeater. Unfortunately I did not intervene soon enough and his accidents continued until the fatality. Sometimes in safety you’ve got to use “tough love”. Enforcing rules and confronting accident repeaters is never fun or even pleasant, but it sure beats the other alternative.
As you can tell, I’m passionate about workplace safety. In my 40 year career I’ve seen first-hand some horrible accidents. My father and uncle were both seriously hurt in totally preventable workplace accidents. I know that all of the free resources on Safety Awakenings have helped to prevent accidents because almost every day I receive emails from though out the world thanking me for my website, and testimonials on how my resources have prevented accidents and saved lives. It gives you a good feeling and makes you want to work even harder to help these predominantly small employers who simply don’t have the resources to help themselves.
Just as mentioned above, workplace accidents are nearly always preventable. It is never a smart decision to cut corners or save time by implementing an incomplete employee safety plan, employee safety is absolutely critical. Some benefits associated with safe work environments include enhanced employee morale, a reduction in the occurrence and severity of accidents, and increased levels of productivity. We just need everyone to get on board with taking the time and care needed to create safer work environments.
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