Why is occupational safety not improving?

Occupational safety is an evergreen topic in today’s market. Occupational safety is talked about both in management teams and around the water cooler. Almost everyone agrees that occupational safety is an important issue and improving it is a value-producing goal, regardless of industry. It is therefore completely understandable that occupational safety and its development is a topic of interest.

After all, it’s grim thing if occupational safety goes wrong. Bad safety is disastrous for companies and organizations from many business points of view, not least in terms of the employer’s reputation, but also for human reasons.

A developing occupational safety culture is an undeniable advantage for both small and large companies, but it surprisingly often turns out that, despite lofty speeches, occupational safety does not develop in the desired way.

If the state of occupational safety does not improve despite the goals set for it, it is understandably frustrating. In many fields, legislation already requires that employees be at least trained in certain work safety principles, so if the results are not satisfactory, there is probably something else behind it.

Here are a few tips gathered through experience, which you can use to review your own operations, if the development of occupational safety is a topical issue in your organization.

1. No written plan has been made for the development of occupational safety

The first tip may surprise you, but practice has shown that in a surprisingly large number of cases where occupational safety does not develop as desired, the background is a recognized need and a sincere desire to improve occupational safety.

However, for one reason or another, this goal has not been understood or recorded.

Occupational safety is often considered so self-evidently important that goals are believed to be realized without written intermediate steps.

Of course, simply writing down the occupational safety development goal does not change the situation one way or the other, but without it the goals do not live in people’s minds and are easily forgotten.

2. Occupational safety has not been made visible

Organizations operate hierarchically, and for good reason. However, occupational safety is a matter for the entire organization. Everyone knows about the evolving occupational safety.

A considerable part of the development of occupational safety depends on employees remembering to take the principles of occupational safety into account in their operations.

The purpose of various warnings, notices and other signs reminding of work safety is to keep the operating models of work safety on the surface in the minds of the employees.

3. Safety rounds have not been carried out, or they are not regular

Phenomena that threaten occupational safety, such as occupational accidents and other occupational safety threats, are rarely completely unexpected surprises.

However, during a more or less routine work vacation, concentration can easily falter and the situation can develop very quickly in an undesirable direction.

Regular safety rounds ensure that the working environment remains in such condition that small deviations and accidents do not expand into uncontrollable occupational safety problems.

4. The employees are not committed to the development of occupational safety

The development of occupational safety requires a safety-conscious, developing safety culture to support it. Since occupational safety is a common issue for the entire organization, it is only possible to create a developing safety culture in cooperation with employees.

However, occupational safety culture does not arise by itself. It is the management’s task to show that they are committed to occupational safety and its development.

It is just as important that employees are included in the development of occupational safety.

The development goals of occupational safety must be communicated in an understandable and clear manner, and employees must have the opportunity to participate in their promotion.

5. Accidents and their causes are not investigated

Zero accidents at work is an excellent and ambitious goal that every company or organization should strive for, at least in the long term. In practice, however, achieving it is challenging.

Something bad can always happen. If an accident at work cannot be avoided, it is of the utmost importance for the development of occupational safety that it be carefully investigated and its root causes determined. In this way, the probability of the recurrence of an occupational accident can be minimized.

Too often the investigation of accidents is done only superficially without thorough investigation and the matter is actively tried to be forgotten.

6. Accident documentation is lacking or poorly focused

The importance of investigating workplace accidents cannot be overemphasized. The development of occupational safety actually requires it.

The purpose of investigating work accidents is to bring out the causes of work accidents and describe them clearly, unambiguously and in detail. However, simply researching and clarifying is not enough.

From the point of view of developing occupational safety, it is absolutely important that information about accidents that have occurred can be easily found in the same place. Often, critical Data Grains are siloed in different systems and repeated in separate data sources, and the parties leading the development cannot easily access them when needed.

7. Prediction is not possible

It often happens that the work aimed at promoting occupational safety is, even in the best cases, just the aftermath of accidents.

In the phase of setting development goals, it is of course necessary that the eye is directed to the rear-view mirror. Occupational safety begins to develop in real life, however, only when it is possible to progress from aftercare to the anticipation of occupational safety risks.

When the development of occupational safety is proactive, it is possible to identify risk situations and occupational safety threats in advance. At the same time, it is possible to define corrective measures for them before they become a reality.

8. There are no proper tools for developing occupational safety

The traditional truths of business include the belief that a skilled professional will produce results effectively with any means.

It is true that the development of occupational safety must not turn into an instrumental sport. Even the most modern occupational safety services do not reach between people’s ears, where occupational safety awareness and an attitude committed to its development are born.

It is equally true, however, that the continuous development of occupational safety does not require overachieving super-humans, but practical results are produced cost-effectively during the everyday work of ordinary people from Mattimei.

Without the proper tools, the benefits gained from the right attitude quickly melt away and there is a return to the initial situation. Although with the difference that starting over is seasoned with a dose of frustration and backlash.