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Risk Management Bulletin


By March 1, 2010No Comments

Most on-the-job accidents occur in “safe”� workplaces. Why?

Some on-the-job injuries result from inappropriate safety equipment or unsafe processes and procedures problems that workplace safety laws can help correct. However, most of these mishaps are due to employee error (taking unneeded chances without thinking about them). For example, a worker might suffer a back injury despite being trained in safety, having a safety belt available, and knowing that their behavior is risky.

Job-related excuses for a back injury might include:

  • “I’ve picked up bigger boxes than this before without hurting myself.”�
  • “Back belts are for sissies.”
  • “I’m too busy to stop and get a belt.”
  • In these cases, the employee at least thought about the possible dangers in lifting and alternatives.

You might also hear such non-job-relatedreasons� for ignoring safety procedures as:

  • “I’m mad at my spouse. My kids are a pain.”
  • “How am I going to get my car fixed? Where will the money come from?”
  • “What should I wear tonight? Do the Joneses like asparagus?”
  • “I sure need a cigarette. When’s my break?”

The solution to these cavalier attitudes: Develop a comprehensive, effective employee safety motivation program.

Market the program by instilling the value of safety. Include program evaluation and trainee feedback for supervisors and employees. Create detailed guidelines and documentation Set goals and reward success by providing such incentives as lottery tickets, gifts, savings bonds, and cash.

Although these efforts involve costs, they can save you big dollars. The rate of return on an effective safety program can be $4 to $10 for every $1 you invest.

What’s not to like?