Workplace safety myths are hazardous hogwash. We debunk four common myths about safety. Listen to stay safe!
Folklore that “accidents happen” has been proven wrong. But are people naturally accident prone? In this podcast, Dan Clark delves into these topics, and the half-truths about PPE keeping everyone safe.
Is it okay to punish workers involved in accidents to prevent future accidents? Dan separates myth from fact.
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Dan Clark: Workplace safety myths are dangerous bunkum. So let’s debunk, deflate, quash, explode, and poke holes in some workplace safety myths.
Hey there, I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief. This is where we talk about health and safety hazards in today’s demanding industrial and construction worksites.
A safety myth in the workplace can actually make the situation less safe. Workers can be lulled into a false sense of security because they are—or are not—doing something on behalf of good safety. Let’s look at some of the common safety myths.
MYTH #1: Accidents happen. We often say this to make people feel better if they make a mistake or are somehow involved in an accident. If people hear this phrase enough, though, they might begin to believe that accidents are just something that happens. Something that’s out of our control. The key is to figure out why accidents happen. Get to the bottom of the problem. Find the root cause.
MYTH #2: PPE will keep everyone safe. Personal protective equipment can help keep workers safe, but it should be the last line of defense—not the first. Workplaces should implement engineering controls, such as machine guards to protect fingers from sharp moving devices. They should also add administrative controls, something like rotating tasks to avoid repetitive motion injuries. After doing both of those, then issue the PPE if necessary. Workplaces must also provide training about why PPE is needed and how to use it.
MYTH #3: Some people are just accident prone. Don’t blame accidents solely on clumsiness or being absent-minded. Get to the root of these problems. Has someone not had enough practice performing a task? Is a worker distracted because of personal problems or lack of sleep? Find out the answers to these types of questions and see what can be done.
MYTH #4: Punishing workers involved in accidents will prevent future accidents. Wrong! If someone’s involved in an accident, the accident itself will remind them not to make the same mistake again. Fear of discipline can actually lead to under-reporting, since employees may fear punishment.
From these four workplace safety myths we can conclude:
* Workers may assume safety is, to a certain extent, out of their control.
* Workers won’t take as much responsibility for their own safety.
* Workers may stop looking for solutions to safety problems.
The take away: business owners and safety managers should always keep an eye peeled for safety improvements and never assume that safety is out of their hands. Meanwhile, workers should take responsibility for their own safety while at work too.
That’s all for this episode on Workplace Safety Myths Debunked. Come back for more ways to stay safety compliant in today’s ever-changing landscape of safety requirements. I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief, a service of Creative Safety Supply. creativesafetysupply.com
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