You are very proud of yourself and you should be. You just survived the entire hiring process beginning with; searching the web for a job, sent in your polished resume, interviews, more interviews and finally, it’s your first day on the job and you’re in the Human Resources office filling out your W’s, who to contact in case of an emergency and many more forms galore. As your day continues you are barraged with new names, introductions and restroom location but what else do you know about this company? There is no current app to check the number of stars the company has earned for safety or a comments section by employees. Do you know what their history is? How many accidents have they had this year? How do they respond to incidents? As you settle into your new job routine or have been on the job for some time, this list will assist you to identify if your company could be a serial killer.
Your company could be a serial killer if…
-Your assignment for today is to assist on repairs of the roof/tower or another high point at the facility. Upon arriving there you find there are no safety harnesses or other fall protection gear yet everyone is standing around impatiently staring at you waiting to see if you have the balls to ask for safety equipment, “Well, what you waiting for? Afraid of heights?”
-During your employee orientation and training the word “safety” is only mentioned once in reference to proper carry of a firearm at work.
-When you ask about the Lock Out Tag Out program you’re told it’s a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Don’t ever, never, stop production and don’t even bother asking. It’s all on the fly here, you’ll get used to it.
-Management orders the removal of the safety screen or machine guards to speed up production to ensure the boss’ bonus and a new car. For your trouble, you get a frozen turkey while you heal and continue physical therapy.
-Today’s task is to climb into a confined space and told, not sure what was in there before but it doesn’t smell too bad now, oh, since you’ll be on your own, try to be careful.
-Working at one of the 42 U.S. Postal Service sites found to have serious violations of electrical work practices by OSHA or exposed to the hazard of working in the heat without an adequate heat stress management program.
-Your company asks for a price increase so they can enhance gas pipe safety for the community and improve productivity but instead uses the money for executive bonuses and somehow loses the pipe maps.
-Your company begins running a television ad campaign that it’s now a safe operating company and its workers are family oriented folks too, just like those 8 people killed in the community your company blew-up. A double concern when the PUC is an accomplice.
-You find there is no formal certification process for forklift drivers but there is an informal rating for “freestyle”. Your assignment today is to retrieve old parts from the highest warehouse rack while standing on a wooden pallet with no fall prevention harness or tether and then your driver walks off for his break.
-Today you get to work in what the employees affectionately refer to as the gas chamber. A room is full of unmarked and unknown containers of various chemicals. Oh, by the way, the ventilation system is on the fritz but should be safe as long as you don’t allow any two liquids mix.
-The giant “Number of days without an accident” sign at the main entrance has a 0 written in permanent marker.
You do not have to tolerate unsafe working conditions. Don’t ever keep quiet about safety and continue to be part of the problem. If your company doesn’t respond to your safety concerns and you’ve spoken to your supervisor, union rep and H.R. make an anonymous call to OSHA. 1-800-321-OSHA (6742). Why put your valuable life at risk so someone else can put a few extra bucks in their pocket. Remember the life that you save may be your own.