The best way for workers to stay safe at work is for them to work within a culture that values their health and wellness. Employers and employees can work together to achieve this goal. The right culture promotes safety over productivity and can reduce the odds of serious accidents.
One way to do this is by setting safety-oriented goals. Instead of just focusing on production numbers or the bottom line, workers can focus on days without accidents, reducing time missed due to injury and limiting safety violations — even those that don’t lead to injury. Workers are often told that nothing but production matters — or it is implied — but changing the goals to safety topics can shift the emphasis to what really matters.
Values and attitudes are also very important. It is more than just making a list of rules to follow. Employers want their employees to know that they really care about safety, that they genuinely want them to avoid injury and that doing so matters. That way, when a worker has a safety-related decision to make, they’ll err on the side of caution.
For instance, they may be deciding if they should take the time to move a ladder or simply lean from the current position. If they think productivity is the only value, they will lean. If they know safety is, they will move the ladder. This vastly reduces the chances that they will take a fall.
A safety culture is important, but accidents do happen. Some are nearly unavoidable. Workers who get hurt on the job need to know about all of the legal options they have.