All of us go to work hoping to perform our jobs safely without being at risk for accidents, illnesses, or public safety hazards. Just as employees hope to stay safe at work good employers are also taking steps to keep their employees safe because they know that providing a proactive, positive and productive workplace can not only decrease risk but increase employee morale.
While there are numerous ways for your employer to encourage compliance and promote a safety culture, some methods may provide more far-reaching and positive outcomes than others.
Dangers of the “Accident Free” Workplace
Does your employer have one of those big signs on display somewhere that reads “Number of days accident free” or something similar? Perhaps employees at your company receive rewards for completing a certain number of hours or tasks without an accident. These types of efforts are actually strongly discouraged by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Instead of encouraging a safe workplace it may actually be discouraging employees from reporting injuries or raising concerns about safety hazards.
If you have sustained an injury or illness as a result of your job or if you witness a potential safety hazard you should never feel punished for reporting the situation to your employer. If you have reported an injury and been punished or mistreated as a result of your honesty, you may have a claim for discrimination in the workplace.
Promoting Accident Prevention
Instead of encouraging an accident free environment your employer may more effectively encourage participation in safety protocols, as well as the implementation of safe work practices, through promoting prevention. Running safety drills, discussing best practices for your industry and providing rewards or incentives for departments who maintain compliance with company and industry safety directives are excellent ways for your employer to encourage safety the right way.
If you have been injured or experienced an illness as a result of your employment, you may be able to work with your employer to help prevent similar events from occurring in the future. If you don’t feel safe reporting the incident or alerting your employer about a safety hazard, it may be helpful to speak with an attorney who can not only help you with your industrial injury or illness but give you advise about how to handle the unsafe situation in your workplace.