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The wrong "safety culture" could lead to injuries

When you go to work each day, you expect to come home safe and sound. Even if you work in an industry in which injuries are often severe, you rely on your employer to provide you with the information, equipment and other tools to remain safe as you go about your duties.

Unfortunately, some California companies create the wrong "safety culture," which puts you in a position in which you could suffer serious injuries. An organization called Safety Performance Solutions has dealt with thousands of employees during its years, and gathered some important information regarding how employers influence the perception of safety in the workplace.

Do companies put profits above your safety?

Even though the majority of employers do want you to remain safe as you work, concerns about production can get in the way of that goal. You may be familiar with one or more of the issues employees working with SPS encounter:

  • Playing catch-up when production declines often results in workers attempting to multi-task, which can increase the potential for injuries.
  • Working too much overtime exhausts workers to the point where they could easily make injurious mistakes.
  • Safety can take a backseat to production demands when deadlines loom near.
  • Inexperienced employees under pressure to perform and meet production demands could make costly mistakes.

Under these conditions, you may even loosen your standards when it comes to safety. You don't want to lose your job because you aren't meeting production demands, but you also don't want to lose your life. It takes effort to find a balance between production and safety, and your employer should find a way to make that happen.

Managers should communicate more with employees when it comes to safety. Most managers do show concern regarding worker safety, but if they fail to discuss it with employees, this could foster an inappropriate atmosphere where the employees don't feel managers care. It might even be helpful to discuss potential improvements to safety with the people actually doing the work.

You shouldn't feel hesitant to report an injury

Another issue that many people encounter at work is blame from managers when an accident and injury occur. This could prevent you from wanting to report an injury, which could further jeopardize your health and safety. Instead of blaming you, managers ought to find where the system broke down. Did you receive the right training? Do you have the safety equipment you need? They should ask questions like these after an incident.

In the meantime, you may need medical attention for your injury, and workers' compensation insurance can help with this. If you need time off in order to recover, you should get it without worrying about paying your bills.

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