Most safety professionals would freely admit that safety stand-downs were poorly executed even before COVID; having to conduct them in an online environment brings new challenges to that process. Gone are the days of packing people into a big hall for an hours-long meeting followed by a buffet lunch. If the pandemic has taught workplace safety experts anything, it's that companies must improve their in-house safety protocols—including safety meetings.
In the manufacturing industry, machine safety is key to reducing the risk of accidents and protecting staff. A comprehensive safety strategy can extend far beyond these benefits. The following three tips for machine safety can help manufacturers reap the rewards that safety brings.
Research by Travelers insurance company indicates that nearly one-third of workplace injuries occur within the injured person’s first year on the job and account for nearly one-third of claim costs. First-year employees are overrepresented in claims data for frequent injuries (such as muscle sprains) as well as for more catastrophic injuries (such as amputations). Clearly, new employees are at significant risk of on-the-job injuries.
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, much of the population has been experiencing skyrocketing stress levels. Social distancing and working from home mean people are getting out less and looking at screens more. With all of these factors taking a toll on people's mental and physical health, some organizations are using wellness challenges to help their teams support each other's well-being and try to rebuild healthy habits that might have been lost in the transition to remote work.
Once upon a time, in order to get employees to follow a company's safety rules and procedures all management had to do was threaten them. The employees didn't like it, but they would obey for fear of losing their jobs. Blind compliance was achieved - but the way to get it made for a terrible place to work.
Then employers "evolved" to holding safety meetings replete with gory photos of dismembered limbs and injury survivors telling their 30-year-old "don't do what I did" stories. In short, bad and ineffective management resorted to scare tactics (which some workplaces still use today) to coerce their employees into following safety policies. There is a certain irony in terrorizing workers into being safe.