Take Safety Concerns Seriously

Don’t let a dismissive attitude lead to workplace injuries

Take Safety Concerns Seriously

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We’ve probably all heard or used the phrase, “It’s no big deal,” in regard to safety concerns. Basically, a hazard isn’t a big deal as long as no one gets injured. Until someone does get injured and then it becomes a big deal. Then we are getting a lot of people involved, there’s investigations, there’s medical involvement to deal with the injury and worst case there could be liability issues involving managers, lawyers, etc. So, how often does this phrase get used at your workplace? 

Usually when this phrase gets used it means something has happened but it’s not something that requires a lot of action or even getting excited about. It usually amounts to nothing and that’s why we say, “It’s no big deal.”

How many times during a normal workday have you walked right past a hazard and kept on walking? You knew it was a hazard such as an unrolled electrical cord, an unsafe trench, a spilled chemical, unlabeled containers, damaged equipment, etc., but you made the decision to ignore it with the hope someone else would address it. Perhaps you were too busy at the moment and forgot about it later on. Maybe you didn’t see the seriousness of the hazard. Or have you become complacent with having hazards around? 

There are some other common phrases and excuses that contribute to this phenomenon. They include, but are not limited to:

“It’s not my job.” Perhaps it’s not, but it’s worth speaking up about to avoid getting someone injured.

“It will be OK; someone will deal with it.” If we all think that way, nothing will get done and the hazard will continue to exist. 

“It’s one of those things that has been that way for a long time.” There’s no time like the present to correct a hazard to avoid an injury.

“I don’t have the time to deal with it right now.” But do you have the time to deal with an injury? 

“I don’t want to cause trouble if I speak up.” If you don’t speak up, how will you feel if someone is injured? 

“It’s no big deal.” Hazards are always a big deal, and this can be reflected in your company’s safety culture.

Bottom line, hazards are a big deal and can lead to serious injuries to employees. We have all seen a hazard that didn’t get addressed, and we know they are workplace injuries waiting to happen. Knowing what needs to be done and doing the right thing can be two different things. Let’s make them one by doing the right thing in speaking up about hazards and getting them corrected before they become a really big deal!


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