You can have all the Federal and State safety regulations you want in place, spend thousands of dollars on training, safety meetings, conducting drills, holding demonstrations, certifications with more training along with spelling out all the consequences for violations but if you allow complacency to creep into your daily facility, warehouse or manufacturing practices and don’t hold people accountable you will wind up costing yourself all that and valuable production time, medical expenses, increased workers compensation rates, and possibly steep fines.
When workers become complacent on the job they begin to cut corners with unsafe practices and start the assume game. I assume that the power to the 5 lb Hesser is turned off and no one would turn it on while I’m up to my elbows in the inner workings. I assume that there is no live ammo in the handgun I handed the actor. I assume that someone else turned in the unsafe maintenance issues, breaks don’t work, on the forklift. Unfortunately, when things are going smooth, at least on the surface they appear to be going smooth, and the boss couldn’t care less what’s not being done safety-wise on the shop floor no one else in management wants to be the bad guy and say something so the assumes accumulate and complacency slowly grows and morphs until.
That fateful day. A day that will change your life and the lives of many others because even though you meant to say something, you didn’t, you put it off and now an employee is severely injured or worse, dead. You feel guilty but that is going to be nothing compared to the scrutiny you are about to go through. The hours of depositions by lawyers, the thorough examination and questioning of your maintenance logs, training records, and safety meeting minutes. The amount of finger-pointing will be extensive as everyone tries to throw everyone but themselves under the bus.
On top of all of this, during the accident investigation as you search for answers, you need to fight off and avoid the ‘knee-jerk’ reaction. The public outcry and the union’s concerns will be exaggerated by the media and put pressure on the city, state, and Government to make new rules and new laws to protect our workers from such a horrible accident and from ever happening again BUT first, please ask yourself, WHY didn’t the current rules work?
Because you will find that the new rules, regulations, and laws will be just as susceptible to complacency as what was in place if you allow it but there is a cure for complacency. It’s called engaging, inspirational leadership. Now we can avoid you making an Ass of U and Me