The Right Safety Attitude
Employees are paid to get out production, and there can be no quarrel with the worker who gives his or her all toward this end. However, this doesn’t mean you have to take safety shortcuts, since statistics indicate that accident prevention and high production go together like peanut butter and jelly, or April showers and May flowers.
Accidents cost money, and must be paid for by the company. This cost is not like the cost of materials, equipment, or wages. It is a total loss, to say nothing of the loss and suffering of the injured employee. There is no return for the company or the injured employee on money spent as the result of an accident. Look at it this way: An accident-free business is a profitable business.
When you buy a house, a car, or any large item, you weigh the advantages and disadvantages before you invest your money. The same is true of investing your time and effort in safety, with one exception. You may decide to forego the expense of a new car, but you should not, in fact cannot, afford to forego your "safety investment."
A good safety attitude toward laws, rules, and housekeeping practices is the best way to protect yourself and your fellow employees from accidents. People with lackadaisical attitudes about safety blame accidents on the "law of averages." But accidents don’t just happen—they are caused. Most accidents happen as a result of an unsafe condition, a poor attitude, or both.
People with bad attitudes are showing disregard for themselves and others. Just look at traffic accidents, for example. Research shows that bad driving attitudes often cause unsafe acts, and unsafe acts are involved in most accidents. The same is true in your job.
People who take chances—trying to repair machines while they are running, or removing a guard to make the work go quicker—are showing a bad safety attitude. You can never be smart enough or quick enough to beat the odds!
What about good attitudes toward safety? All of us are required to follow certain procedures in our jobs, but your best defense against injury is a good safety attitude.
One way to build a good safety attitude is to learn your job well. Know the hazards and know the safeguards. If you understand your work, you will have a better understanding of the importance of safe work practices and a good safety attitude.
Another indication of a good safety attitude is to set an example for others. If you see a piece of scrap on the floor, take the time to pick it up, because it could cause an injury to someone else. This may sound too simple to work, but it really does. Safe attitudes are contagious.
If you run into a problem that you’re not sure you can handle safely on your own, report it to your supervisor or manager, who is in the best position to correct the problem quickly.
Another key to working and being safe is communication. Here’s your chance to tell us what safety items you are concerned about. Tell us what hazards you have seen recently. Is there a condition you know about which could cause an injury? Is there a suggestion you feel would help prevent an injury? It is part of the company’s safety attitude that you are in an excellent position to spot the signs of potential trouble. So all your comments will be reviewed and corrective action will be taken promptly.