Safety at Home Means Safety at Work
Safety shouldn’t stop at quitting time.
There are at least three good, practical reasons your company should encourage employees to practice safety at home as well as at work:
- Paying attention to safety at all times makes safety a habit and builds a good “safety attitude.”
- Preventing accidents at home means fewer lost work days and fewer employees who can’t do their work properly because of off-the-job injuries.
- An off-the-job death or serious injury to an employee or family member is a real tragedy that will affect co-workers and your company as a whole.
What are the top five causes of fatal accidents at home?
This is a question you can ask employees to lead off a training session. According to the Home Safety Council, the answer, in order of frequency, is:
- Poisoning (ingesting or inhaling toxic substances)
- Suffocation (often involving choking on food)
Interestingly, the five leading causes of nonfatal injuries are not the same. Falls still leads the list, and poisoning is Number 5. In between are striking or being struck by an object (Number 2); cuts (Number 3); and overexertion, such as sustaining back injuries and muscle pulls (Number 4).
Make the connection between home safety and work safety.
The list of parallels between home hazards and workplace hazards is almost endless: tripping and falling, hazardous substances, electric shock, fire, power tools, falling and flying objects, eye injuries, back injuries, etc., etc. Remind employees that they should take the same precautions against these hazards at home as they do at work, including reading labels, wearing PPE, and removing tripping hazards. Make it a standard part of your safety presentations to discuss how safety training at work should be practiced at home, as well.
Why It Matters…
- Accidents in the home cause approximately 20,000 deaths per year and 13 million injuries per year in the United States.
- Medical and other costs of home accidents total in the billions of dollars annually.
Employees with a “round the clock” safety consciousness are less likely to be injured than those who view safety only as a job requirement.