Safety: It’s Not About the Chances You Take, But the Decisions You Make. Part 1
In this three-part series, Safety Speaker Mike Hourigan will be examining everyday decisions that affect workplace safety.
Workplace safety isn’t solely about making sure the right tools and protective gear are on hand and staying compliant with all regulatory and organization-wide compliance procedures. Making sure that people are safe at work also isn’t limited to workplaces with highly physical aspects and their subsequent regulations like construction sites and restaurants.
Managers sometimes take risks when it comes to fostering workplace safety. Sometimes it’s clear-cut like getting lax with procedures and regulations that may be cost-prohibitive to stay compliant with. There’s always that risk of a surprise inspection or an employee getting hurt on the job even if it’s not a glaring issue like slacking off on fixing broken equipment. Facing pressure from corporate to keep costs and employee turnover low simultaneously can often equate to moral dilemmas. Other times, safety-related decisions entail maintaining a culture of safety– or failing to do so by not making an effort to listen to employee concerns, or inadvertently fostering an environment antagonistic to employees because they don’t feel like they’re being listened to.
It’s decisions like this that set examples and solidify the organizational culture that go beyond the risks taken. Who’s being affected by these decisions? Ultimately, are you able to sleep at night being comfortable with the decisions that you made earlier concerning workplace safety?
Decisions don’t exist in a vacuum. There’s people who will be affected by them both in the short and long term. Disregarding safety procedures may seem like a short-term cost-cutting measure but ultimately equate to bad PR down the line, in addition to the risk of harm. The same goes for being lackadaisical on addressing harassment and other forms of intimidation that can escalate to physical harm if left unchecked.
Safety’s not just about inherent risks. It’s also about making the right decisions to mitigate them.
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Mike Hourigan is a workplace safety speaker who shares his ideas on creating safer workplace environment all over the country.
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