Get Back to Basics with Safety
Take time to remind employees about safety basics.
If most of your safety training sessions focus on the details of specific hazards and work practices, you can easily forget to step back and remind employees about the “big picture.” Fundamentally, that means developing an all-around “safety attitude”—keeping safety in mind at all times and in all situations—not just at work, but also at home and on vacation. In fact, practicing safety at work is only part of the picture: Nearly 90 percent of fatal injuries and two-thirds of nonfatal but disabling injuries to American workers occur away from the job.
Be alert to the most hazardous situations.
Part of safety basics is knowing the most common causes of death and serious injury so that you can stay particularly alert to these possible hazards. As a training exercise, ask your employees to name what they think are the five leading causes of accidental death, then compare their list to the most recent available statistics for 2003:
- Motor vehicles—which accounted for more than 40 percent of fatal accidents both overall and in the workplace
- Falls (16 percent)—falls were also the leading cause of serious nonfatal injuries
- Poisoning (13 percent)
- Choking (4 percent)
- Drowning and fires (tied at about 3 percent each)
Emphasize the “secret weapon” against accidents. Actually, the secret weapon isn’t really all that secret … it’s common sense! Remind employees that most accidents can be prevented simply by paying attention to hazards and engaging their brains before they act in a potentially unsafe manner. Ask your groups to name examples of using common sense to enhance safety; these might include:
- Reading the label on a chemical container before using it
- Wearing all required PPE whenever known hazards are present
- Removing or avoiding any possible slipping, tripping, and falling hazards
- Making sure flammable and combustible materials are kept away from sources of ignition
- Never disabling or circumventing safety devices, such as machine guards
- Staying away from power lines or any type of energized electrical equipment
- Asking a supervisor for help and guidance if they are not sure how to do a job safely
Work injuries cost Americans more than $150 billion per year, or more than $1,000 per worker.
Why It Matters…
- There are more than 100,000 accidental deaths per year in the United States, including close to 5,000 in the workplace.
- More than 3 million Americans suffer disabling injuries on the job each year.
Central Florida Safety Academy offers a broad range of safety courses to help meet your training requirements. Most of our online courses are also available on-site if you operate within the Central Florida area.