Take Safety Home
Recently, I watched a safety video that featured a story about a blind man. In an unfortunate accident, the blind man was shot in the face by his son during a hunting trip that went wrong. In a matter of seconds, he went from “20/20 vision, to lights out.” He cited failure to communicate and wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as the main causes for the incident, and admitted during his 27 years of service in a production plant, he had repeatedly heard the words “communication” and “PPE” in every single safety meeting. Unfortunately, those words only meant something to him at work; certainly not on this hunting trip.
The moral of the blind man’s story is the fact that workers routinely discuss and apply safety principles at work, but often times forget to do so off work. When was the last time you checked your GFCI receptacles at home? Did you wear appropriate PPE when mowing your lawn the other day? Do you avoid being distracted while driving? Granted, there are no OSHA regulations or company policies that require us to follow these safety precautions off work, but the fact remains – sustaining an injury off work could be just as risky as it would be at work. In some cases, the latter could be more distressing considering the fact that medical expenses might have to be covered by the injured victim or his family and not worker’s compensation. Moreover, an injured victim feels the pain and suffering irrespective of whether he was injured on the job or not. His family is also adversely affected in both circumstances.
With this in mind, everyone should make safety a priority 24/7. Safety should not just be practiced at work, but it should be taken with you wherever you go. You could start by doing simple things, such as checking your GFCI receptacle in your bathroom or kitchen to see if it is functioning, wearing a pair of safety glasses and gloves for protection the next time you’re mowing your lawn, or wearing the appropriate PPE when you go hunting. Doing these little things may seem daunting now, but sooner or later it will become a habit.
Employers also have a stake in ensuring their employees are safe both on and off the job. An injured employee (whether on or off the job) is either unproductive or less productive. The employer is likely to incur part of the medical expenses of an injured employee in either situation. There is no doubt that the company’s bottom line is affected in such situations. Employers should therefore take proactive steps in ensuring that employees understand the importance of safety at work and away from work. This could involve training and educating their employees on safety topics relating to hazards at work, as well as away from work.
At Faith Technologies, we have taken a step in that direction by ensuring that our Tool Box Talks cover non work-related safety topics. Faith Technologies believes that training in these topics will help keep our employees safe away from work, which will help the overall success of the company.
The bottom line remains, safety should be a 24/7 concept. We should all strive for a safety culture that’s built on this concept.