Are you and your company currently looking into creating a workplace safety plan? Do you fear that one day, an accident will occur and injure one of your top employees? If so, then you need to start by debunking the most common workplace safety myths that exist today.
Doing so can help you avoid tragic accidents. By understanding the most common forms of negligence and ignorance that companies have with their workplace safety, you can ensure it doesn’t happen on your watch.
See below for an in-depth guide on the most common workplace safety myths that exist today and why smart management won’t believe them for a second.
Myth #1: “It Will Never Happen to Us”
This is one of the most dangerous workplace safety myths out there. It’s the equivalent of a company owner or CEO looking at the potential danger in their business model, then shrugging it off and walking away.
This kind of ignorance can lead to severe injury or illness to your staff. If you don’t prioritize workplace safety, then your company won’t be prepared for an accident.
You always hear the saying, “accidents happen.” That certainly rings true for workplace safety. It isn’t a matter of if an accident will occur, but a matter of when. No company escapes an accident during its existence.
In fact, statistics from the National Safety Council reveal that a worker is injured on the job every seven seconds. The likelihood of an accident is increasing as demand and the need for quantity over quality spreads in the workforce.
Instead of shying away from the thought, take the initiative to assess any danger in your business operations and plan for action. How can your company prevent this accident from happening? What will your company do to respond to the emergency if it were to occur?
Myth #2: All Accidents Are Preventable
As we just mentioned, the mindset of today’s workforce naturally increases the odds of an accident occurring on the job. Workers are more pressured than ever to produce quantity, not necessarily quality, to meet demand.
This “how much have you done for me lately?” mentality has workers more concerned about meeting demand than protecting their bodies. It’s only a matter of time before an accident occurs.
Some companies have the illogical thought that all accidents are preventable. That couldn’t be further from the truth. All it takes is one split second to cause an incident.
First, humans make mistakes. It’s unrealistic to assume that your staff (which is full of humans) will never make an error. No matter how strong your leadership is or how in-depth your training is, there will always be a few hiccups along the way.
Speaking of training, a strong training program isn’t complete without informing employees of what to do when an emergency occurs. That should be outlined in your employee safety training.
Second, machines can sometimes go awry. All it takes is one faulty forklift or machine in your production line to cause a tragic emergency. In those moments, the response is everything.
Myth #3: Employee Injuries Are the Only Workplace Safety Threat
When someone says, “workplace safety,” what immediately pops up in your head? For some of you, it might be work-related injuries, such as one of your workers falling off a ladder. For others, it might be something along the lines of an active shooter.
However, there is another sneaky threat in today’s workforce that often goes unnoticed: hazardous chemicals. Contrary to popular belief, these chemicals aren’t just found in laboratories. Some of the most common forms of hazardous chemicals include:
- Products with petroleum
- Metals such as aluminum, mercury, and lead
The list goes on and on. The biggest danger regarding these chemicals is the lack of reporting with HazMat inventory. We recommend using online MSDS to keep an inventory of these materials, as well as manage your SDS (safety data sheet).
Myth #4: “Zero Injuries is the Goal”
Again, this goal is dangerously ignorant. If owners and management think that zero goals in the workplace are possible, they won’t do much in the way of injury prevention.
All it takes is one slip and fall to land your company in a world of hurt. Without proper workers’ compensation and business liability insurance in place, you could personally be on the hook for the injured person’s lost wages, medical bills, and more.
Remember, it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. This line of thinking isn’t negative, it’s realistic; it will help your company roll with the punches.
Myth #5: Safety Programs Are the Answer
Safety programs are part of the answer. However, without a management team to enforce them or employees holding each other accountable to them, nothing gets accomplished.
Make sure that your staff is aware of your safety plan from the day they first start working for you. Input the safety program in your onboarding, and be sure to schedule monthly meetings to train and reeducate your workers on the risks of your business model.
You’ll also want to hold people accountable by providing weekly updates on injuries, accidents, and more.
Avoid These Workplace Safety Myths Like the Plague
Now that you have seen an in-depth guide on all of the different workplace safety myths, be sure to eradicate them from the minds of your management and employees.
Take the time to browse our website for more articles on employee safety, as well as many other topics that you will find helpful.
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