Safety Awakening – “My Safety Pet Peeves”

July 24, 2015 No Comments

The Urban Dictionary defines a pet peeve as a “An irritating experience caused by others in which you cannot control“.  Here are a few of my safety pet peeves:

  • OSHA in the USA has done much good, but unfortunately they will never reach their full potential because they are a “political organization” that is subject to the pressures of partisan politics.  Politics… why else would OSHA issue a silly guideline on “Restroom Access for Transgender Workers“?  Just how many work related injuries will this new OSHA transgender guideline prevent?  Probably NONE!   Then why did OSHA waste precious resources on such trivial nonsense when there are unregulated safety and health hazards injuring hundreds of workers every day? 
  • Employers who blame workers for their accidents.
  • National safety organizations (e.g. National Safety Council, OSHA, etc.) who appoint a new head of their organization that is not a safety professional.  I hate seeing influential safety organizations being lead by a lawyer or a professional association manager.
  • Executives who refuse to wear the required personal protective equipment when in the factory.
  • Employers who knowingly violate safety limits (e.g. lifting capacities of equipment) to save money or facilitate production.
  • Safety people who put a string of meaningless abbreviations behind their name that no one’s ever heard of (e.g. QSSPI, MHRM, CSA, SHS, HSO, SAC, ASC, etc.) in an attempt to impress.
  • People who say that “safety is just common sense”, or that “anyone can be a safety manager”.  Safety is now a recognized professional that requires a specialized college degree and professional certification.  A person who completes a 30-hour OSHA course is not a safety professional.
  • Safety should never report to the HR director.   In most cases, HR directors micro-manage the safety manager because HR managers believe that safety is just a subset of HR (which of course it is not).
  • Employers who return injured workers to meaningless jobs in order to prevent the incident from escalating into a lost time accident.
  • Safety managers who act like the safety police and sneak around trying to catch employees violating safety rules or safe work practices.  A better approach would be to coach employees who are not performing safety.
  • Treating safety like a children’s game, with childish contests, games, and prizes.

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