Most workers don’t speak up on dangers

May 20, 2012 | 0 Comments | Filed under: Uncategorized
From Forkliftaction news – 

A survey of materials handling industry workers reveals that up to three-quarters of individuals notice “accidents waiting to happen” at work.   The study, available to members of the UK’s Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA)’s Safe User Group, asked nearly 250 people from different companies about the safety practices in their workplaces. Respondents included forklift drivers, frontline workers, management, and safety officers.

About 75% of those polled said they felt their workgroup was at risk from one or more “accidents waiting to happen”. However, only one-third of them said they would speak up about such dangers.

It is one thing to train a workforce to recognize unsafe conduct, but quite another to ensure that they feel confident enough to voice their concerns, thereby preventing accidents and, potentially, saving lives.

“How can a workforce be encouraged to speak out about the dangers they spot?  There are five simple, cost-effective tips to help bring operators safety issues to the surface.

1. Make it easy to report an issue – Operators should already know to take urgent matters to their line manager. But companies should make sure there is one central person who coordinates health and safety and inform operators of the way they should report matters.

2. Make it anonymous – Having a simple printed card and a drop box is a quick and easy way for staff to voice concerns anonymously while also providing a documentation trail for company records.

3. Make it worthwhile – A small reward, a voucher or a free lunch for the month/quarter is something that may just tip the balance between whether operators report a health and safety issue or not.

4. Make it happen – If operators are reporting issues and see nothing happening, they will stop bothering to report them. When an issue is reported, declare it and put a timescale on it. When it has been investigated, share the results.

5. Two little words – Thanking operators is the most simple and effective way of ensuring that they will keep doing the right thing. If your company has an internal newsletter, consider a section highlighting the good work. If people see their name in print, it raises their self-esteem, and possibly their profile, among their peers to help encourage others. In a smaller company, a section of a notice board could do the same thing just as effectively.

“These five simple, cheap processes take little planning by management and just a little commitment to keep going. However, they can bring huge rewards by reducing accidents and damage bills that far outweigh their small cost.

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