General Safety – Safe Attitudes
- I was in a shipyard when I observed a worker perched precariously high and above the ground on a structural member. The Safety Manager signed time out and said, “Let’s talk about this.” The worker replied angrily, “Are we here to play safety or to build ships?” Fortunately for everyone, including himself, this employee was soon gone. Think about this man’s attitude toward safety. We probably agree that his outlook was negative. Negative attitudes toward safety lead to negative results — accidents. Experience has shown us that all the safety training and equipment in the world cannot ensure safety without the proper safety attitude also being present. Is your attitude toward safety positive, or negative? Is safety part of your job or is it an obstacle someone has put in your way to make your job more difficult?
- Hopefully, you will accept the fact that safety is part of your job. If you can accept that fact, not only will you increase your chances of going home uninjured at the end of the day, you may also find that your life at work becomes a bit more pleasant. How so?
- Enforcing safety rules is part of your supervisor’s job. If you violate safety rules, the supervisor must correct you. This can lead to resentment. You have to understand that giving someone a break when they ignore safety rules actually encourages further breaking of the rules and can set up a situation leading to an accident and injury. If you do not have a safe attitude, then it becomes the supervisor’s job to change your behavior. Generally, this involves some sort of discipline, something no one likes to do or to receive. You can avoid this unpleasantness by simply following the rules and changing your attitude yourself. Remember, although your employer may have a legal obligation to make and enforce the rules, they are made to protect you.
- You are the primary beneficiary.