The April issue of Safety and Health Magazine features OSHA’s Top 10 Most Cited Violations for FY2020. All are areas we are concerned about at American Scaffolding, but four of them are particularly close to home:
- Fall Protection – General Requirements
- Fall Protection – Training Requirements
|Fall Protection – General Requirements||5,424||7,014|
|Powered Industrial Trucks||1,932||2,347|
|Fall Protection – Training Requirements||1,621||2,059|
|Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection||1,369||1,630|
Although it could be encouraging to note that the number of citations in each of these four areas dropped from 2019, at least a portion of the difference could be attributed to the impact of COVID19 on workplace activity in 2020. Safety is always a priority at American Scaffolding, not only as a topic, but in day-to-day practice. Reading the article OSHA’s Top 10 Most Cited Violations in Safety + Health led us to ponder: “What contributes to the effectiveness and success of a safety program in any given organization?” Perhaps it’s something more than a “safety program”. We’d like to suggest that success is driven by a safety mindset. Probably not coincidentally, an invitation to a webinar on “Building a Machine Safety Mindset” arrived right around the same time as the Safety + Health feature on OSHA Top 10 list for 2020. But then, just what is a safety mindset? We decided to look at this from both an overall organizational level and an employee level.
A Safety Mindset – with a Foundation in Organizational Culture
Redwoods, an insurance and consulting firm that is part of Crum and Foster, identifies ten areas of focus for safety and wellness programs. One of those areas is a “safety mindset”, which entails cultivating “a safety mindset at every level of employment. Protocols need to match practices, and safety is everyone’s responsibility…” As exhibited in a post devoted specifically to this topic, Creating a Safety Mindset at Your Organization, Redwoods identifies four elements to support what are truly engrained behaviors and beliefs when it comes to safety. These are:
- Leadership Commitment and Employee Involvement
- Workplace Analysis
- Hazard Prevention and Control
- Training for Employees, Supervisors and Managers
It’s one thing to instill a culture of safety such that it is effectively a component of the company’s “DNA”. The next level is employees who possess a strong safety mindset. How do you identify this commitment among your workers?
Employees Possessing a Safety Mindset
An article written by a safety audit group, The Checker, highlights the characteristics of a safety mindset among employees. As their article, Four Signs of Personnel With the Right Safety Mindset, expresses:
“… no matter how good your safety polices are, the level of safety at your company will ultimately be determined by the attitude of your personnel.”
According to The Checker, employees with a safety mindset exhibit the following behavior and habits:
- They use their equipment according to the instructions and without taking short-cuts.
- They are aware of their surroundings and what is happening around them.
- They understand their limitations and are proactive in communicating when something is beyond their ability.
- They report problems with the confidence that doing so protects the company, its people, customers, and even other people directly or indirectly affiliated with it.
Ultimately, in the world we work in daily, scaffolding safety is our central focus. We’ll be offering more about that in upcoming posts. In the meantime, see our previous post, Ladder Safety is not Child’s Play. Although a bit whimsical, it offers good reminders on ladder safety and fall prevention.