Life today seems to be increasingly difficult with pressures between work and family life and the prevalent use of mobile phones. Family issues can impact on workplace safety where employees are distracted by external issues which are important to them. They experience a “brain-fade” and inadvertently breach safety rules often with serious consequences.
The basic understanding that safety is about “me”, not just other people seems like common sense, but experience has demonstrated that the opposite is generally true. Distractions lead to short cuts or safety breaches which if not challenged can become the normal work procedure. All breaches must not only be reported but recorded in the EHS system so that corrective actions can be closed and additional training for the employees arranged if needed. In reporting breaches or hopefully “near misses” the employee can be interviewed and help, such as access to an employee assistance program, provided if appropriate. Disciplinary actions should only be used as the last resort as it can create a culture of distrust within the organisation.
A brief Tool Box meeting on safety issues prior to commencing work can be used to reinforce the “Work Safe” mantra and the “open door” policy if and employee wishes to discuss their personal issue.
Risk and Safety Templates
For strategic safety professionals.
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