In our prior posts, we highlighted how the culture of fear may prevent injured workers from taking the proper rest or time away from work to heal from their injuries. Unfortunately, the same culture may exist in some companies and some worksites that prevent workers from reporting safety violations and hazards that could lead to serious injuries.
However, according to a recent businessinsurance.com report, this culture may be changing. Essentially, more employers are including their employees in the design and implementation of safety plans. For instance, employees are being engaged to help fix hazards such as machine guarding defects and are being trained to properly shut off machinery before maintenance is completed.
Since these are two of the most frequently cited OSHA standards, the collaborative effort between employees and management could help in reducing workplace injuries. A prime example of this was found through the Lego Group. As the toy maker changed its risk management philosophy, employees in more than 90 locations were engaged and empowered to make suggestions and changes to their safety protocols.
Lego reported that since it implemented its changes in 2012, incidents where workers lost time to injuries averaged 10 per year until 2014, when the number was cut in half. So far in 2016, the company has not recorded such an incident.
The story reiterates the duty that employers have to maintain a safe working environment for employees. More importantly, it exemplifies the critical nature of creating a culture where reporting safety hazards or violations is encouraged.