When employees get injured, supervisors sometimes blame the employee for causing the accident. This can prevent the employer from identifying the root cause and preventing future accidents. Even though employee behaviors do contribute, employers are responsible for correcting behaviors just like they are responsible for correcting unsafe conditions.
J. J. Keller invited safety and HR professionals to share their challenges and success stories during an online Virtual Conference hosted September 13, 2023. Read on for the event highlights.
An accident typically results from a combination of workplace conditions (hazards) and worker behaviors (actions). Too often, supervisors or investigators focus on behaviors and blame the worker. Although employee actions can contribute to incidents, employees might have reasons for breaking safety rules. Those could include a lack of training or even pressure from management to work faster. The conference offered two questions to get the conversation started:
On the first question, attendees shared experiences and tips to increase the emphasis on safety, including the following:
On the second question of supervisor accountability, attendees noted a need for upper management support. Too often, production has priority over safety. This gets worse if a supervisor was ever fired for failing to meet production expectations. Other thoughts shared included:
Employers can encourage a culture change through actions like tracking incidents and near misses, but a key is making things relatable.
When you need help with non-regulatory topics, you probably check with other safety professionals in your network. If you’re still developing a network, check out the Discussions area in the J. J. Keller® SAFETY MANAGEMENT SUITE. You can post questions and request feedback from other safety professionals, learning from their experiences. You might even find some posted questions that you can help answer!