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Excuses for Not Creating a Culture of Safety in the Workplace

Updated on September 6, 2012
jpcmc profile image

I'm a dad, husband, and Christian first. The rest is just life's add-ons: an educator, administrator, learning & development professional.

Is safety a priority in your workplace?
Is safety a priority in your workplace? | Source

How safe is your workplace? Many employees take for granted simple safety issues because they do not want to cause a ruckus. Moreover, many company executives and business owners do not focus on safety concerns because it’s not in the budget. The truth is safety in the workplace is a serious concern. Little or no attention to it can cause huge sums or even loss of life.

Creating a culture of safety in the workplace is not just important; it’s a necessity. So what are the common excuses for not having a solid culture of safety in the workplace?

We don’t need it

First of all, every company needs to build a culture of safety. Without it, employees work with a high risk for accidents, sickness and injuries. Furthermore, this type of complacency can get people injured; equipment damaged, and gets lives lost. If my executives tell me we don’t need a culture of safety, then I’d bluntly say I don’t need this company. I need to be assured that when I go to work in one piece; I’d go home in the same or better condition.

Safety costs
Safety costs | Source

Is your workplace safe?

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It costs too much

How much is the cost of a life? If you start pegging a number to this then there is a problem with you. In addition, any move towards a culture of safety is an investment. Of course, measures to promote safety in the workplace will entail additional costs. Even one simple safety training can cost the company. But the rewards for increased safety go beyond keeping your inventory intact. With a safety culture present, you can be assured of higher productivity, lower injuries or health problems – plus the possibility of avoiding lawsuits.

We train our people well

Training people to run equipment is one thing. Advocating safety is another. Sure, the statistics on paper shredder fatalities is negligible – are there any? But work-related injuries and problems are not limited to using equipment. Creating a safety culture is instilling the right mind set and attitude in the work area. This requires constant and unwavering attention of everyone.

Of course, training is essential. But fostering the right attitude and habits is a totally different matter.

Our employees are not stupid

The vote of confidence is appreciated but it is a sorely misplaced flattery. Accidents happen and no one can pin point when and where it will inflict its wrath. The most that a company can do is to minimize the risk. Policies and procedures offer an excellent starting point. But a culture of safety in the workplace is still required.

  • What habits are promoted?
  • What programs are in place to ensure safety?
  • Are equipment and technology available to minimize risks?
  • Are there regular trainings and refreshers for the employees?

Keeping the workforce safe is a year-round endeavor for the company. It allows improvements in the current system and allows continuous assessment of people and resources. A culture of safety is more than just policies written down on paper. Rather, it is a conscious effort of everyone to improve productivity and security.


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    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hello RJ. Many manufacturing companies and factories have safety issues. it's really a toss up between cost and production. What most owners fail to understand is that safety needs of their employees. Of course in many countries there are safety standards. The problem is the lax implementation of both government agencies and business owners.

      I appreciate your kind remarks and thank you for the vote up and useful clicks.

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 5 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      I have a lot of friends who work in auto fatories and often the safety is tossed aside in favor of output. Most common are the strps that are tied to the wrists that keep the wnds out of the press. Well done and thanks for the follow too. I'm a pro writer.Up and useful Well done. RJ

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Nice to see you again BusinessTime. Keeping employees safe is really important. True, employees need to assert their rights to have a safe workplace. Insurances and medical benefits are one side of the coin. But who wants to get into an accident? Al;though medical benefits and insurances are good to have, I'd rather keep myself safe.

    • BusinessTime profile image

      Sarah Kolb-Williams 5 years ago from Twin Cities

      You make great points here. Given the cost of dealing with an employee accident or death, you'd think it would be common sense for businesses to spend relatively little on creating a safe environment in the first place -- hopefully employees understand their rights and demand appropriate working conditions.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hello Virtual Treasures. It's so sad that many companies put budget on trivial stuff but fail to give importance to workplace safety. I hope there are safety measures and programs in your company. If not, I guess it's about time to ask for it.

    • Virtual Treasures profile image

      Virtual Treasures 5 years ago from Michigan

      This is a great hub! Unfortunately, there are too many companies who do not make safety a priority. Risk mitigation in this area in the form of training, clear policies and employee engagement are always worth the cost when you look at the potential liabilities.