Avoid Unsafe Workplace Behaviors

Organizations run smoothly when employers implement a safety plan. Safety can often be neglected in the fast-paced business environment or during routine processes. It's important to remain conscious of surroundings and safety protocols at all times to avoid preventable accidents. Employee behavior is critical to the success of an organization. Most incidents involve an unsafe behavior or decision, factoring directly or indirectly into the severity or root cause.

Examples of behaviors that must be avoided at all times:

  • Walking under suspended loads.
  • Blocking out or bypassing safeguards.
  • Using an ungrounded portable electric hand tool.
  • Bypassing a lockout process.
  • Wiping off oil from operational in-running rolls.
  • Lifting loads that are too heavy or awkward.
  • Overloading a scaffold or forklift.
  • Bypassing any established safety procedure or device.
  • Taking a shortcut by climbing over a moving conveyer belt.
  • Chipping or grinding without safety glasses or goggles and a face shield.
  • Cleaning parts with flammable solvents, especially in poorly-ventilated areas.

Ways to promote a safe work environment:

  • Involve employees in the identification, discussion, and documentation of hazards.
  • Periodically audit yourself against applicable industry regulations and standards.
  • Make sure appropriate controls are in place and operational. Periodic inspection and maintenance is critical.
  • Investigate every incident to root cause, communicate findings, and correct deficiencies.
  • Assure that training is done to build an awareness of “critical behaviors” for each task and that it is repeated frequently enough and immediately following modifications impacting operational hazards.
  • Perform safety observations to encourage safe behaviors.
  • Recognize people who perform tasks safely and demonstrate proper behaviors.
  • Perform refresher trainings at employee meetings to ensure that all employees remember safety procedures.

A successful safety system includes: Being aware of the hazards of tasks, knowing the critical behaviors, and following them. The bottom line is: if employees understand the hazards and and act on best practices, many accidents can be avoided or severity minimized. By consistently following a corporate standard, a culture of safety can emerge and become the norm in the workplace. Once that standard is set, repetition and consistency ensure that this bar is set and cemented for years to come. 

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