Why A Strong System Isn't Safe Enough
A company’s safety program is a clear set of rules, procedures, equipment, and training designed to improve overall workplace safety and prevent incidents. While regulators in each market have their own guidelines for how a safety program should look, commitments to workplace safety vary drastically from company to company. The following 5 reasons why safety programs will tell you if your efforts to prevent incidents are going to work:
1. Lack of Clarity
Without clearly defined rules and procedures no system can succeed. Even if processes are strong workers who do not fully know about them or understand them will not be able to comply, thereby reducing the effectiveness of the system.
2. Rules Are Made to Be Broken
By nature, many workers have an independent streak wherein they consciously choose when to follow rules. Since most "rebels" are motivated by exerting their independence, they tend to overlook the effects of their decisions on their co-workers, which could potentially lead to very severe consequences.
3. The Wrong System
Experienced workers typically have seen many systems from ambitious companies and tend to hold strong opinions on how effective each one is at reducing incidents. If a company has a system in place that inspires little or no confidence from the workers, it will have a minimum effect on overall incident prevention.
4. Limited Time Offer
Many companies implement a safety program with an "end-result", which leads a person to think there is an expiry date on the program. Safety is a daily initiative that needs to be on the mind of every employee every day if companies are to maintain an acceptable level of incident prevention. Otherwise workers and management will try harder to meet predefined goals and relax their efforts once achieved.
5. Trust in Regulation
OSHA programs by government regulators force companies to comply with a bare minimum set of safety laws. Merely complying to these laws will not create for a safe working environment. Countless recordable incidents have been caused by actions not currently regulated under government safety laws. Furthermore, safe working procedures vary significantly from industry to industry, company to company, and among every job site. Regulators will give you fines for being bad. They will not help your workers stay safe on a daily basis.