For many of us going to work each day is just a simple part of reality. We work to provide the necessities needed for ourselves and our families, however, not all jobs are entirely safe. In fact, many jobs harbor the possibility for adverse health effects or risks for bodily injury. It is a scary thought to go to work one day expecting a normal work day and then never coming home. However, there is an organization that prides itself upon creating safer work environments for all employees; this organization is known as OSHA or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Recently, OSHA has been credited with large reductions in workplace fatalities. One article in the Rome News Tribune focuses on the fatality reductions in Georgia and states:
“The 23-percent reduction in Georgia’s workplace fatalities is part of a long-term trend of improvement.
A federal safety official said Wednesday much of the credit goes to efforts by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. “Due to our efforts, there has been an improvement over the last five years with regard to workplace fatalities. We still need to do more to ensure all working men and women return home at the end of the day,” said Ben Ross, OSHA’s acting deputy regional administrator in Atlanta.”
The key phrase in the above statement is “we still need to do more.” Even though the occurrence of workplace fatalities has been reduced, even one work-related death is simply too many. Imagine having to inform a family that one of their loved ones has been fatally injured while on the job. It would be one of the hardest calls to make.
One element of workplace safety that keeps ringing in my ear is training. Training is absolutely critical within hazardous work environments. If ALL employees are not properly trained, the risk for accident and injury increases ten-fold. For instance, take a group of ten maritime workers. If nine of the ten workers have been properly trained on the hazards and specific safety guidelines of working around ships and water but one has not, that one employee essentially puts all other workers at risk. It only takes one person to make a catastrophic mistake that could injure everyone else. Adequate training is simply a must. Rome News Tribune also states:
“Some companies are using technology to improve training as well as supervision to ensure that property safety techniques are being applied, according to Bryan Schmode, executive vice president of Avigilon, a company that sells high-definition cameras.
As the economy improves and hiring increases, organizations need to be able to ensure that their new employees are properly trained. HD surveillance can help ensure employees are following the proper procedures, whether it’s providing excellent customer service or following safety requirements.”
All in all, it is comforting to know that employee work environments are becoming safer; however, we are still on the cusp of creating ultimate safety. It takes time, training, technology, and overall commitment from all employees to create a truly safe work environment for all.
Resource: http://romenews-tribune.com, by Walter C. Jones, Morris News Service, 26. June 2013
- OSHA Safety Plan
- OSHA : Safety and Health for Workers Increased Productivity
- Statistics on Workplace Fatalities – 2011
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- OSHA for a Small Business
- The Core Functions of OSHA
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- Reducing Workplace Injuries
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