Will workers cover for each other – or police each other?

by on April 21, 2015 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Workplace Safety Network

Every manager knows there is the theory and then there’s the practice. When it comes to safety, all the best safety training is useless if an individual worker decides to ignore it. As one safety professional put it (paraphrasing), “There are a dozen people near an accident, and no one saw anything.”

No one wants to tell, and no one wants to get anyone else in trouble. And supervisors can’t be everywhere at once.

One way to approach this is to address the issue indirectly during training. Your supervisors can ask workers to come up with a list of safety violations they’ve seen recently on the job, and be specific on a topic. You might get answers like:

  • Someone didn’t inspect the safety harness.
  • Someone didn’t stay tied off when switching locations.
  • Someone unhooked to leave, and then got distracted and remained in the area where there was a fall risk.

Supervisors can then address issues directly in toolbox talks, or during inspections. And remind people and encourage people to police each other. They may not tell the manager, but they should be ready to tell each other, at the very least.

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