Increasing safety should be a top priority for all companies, as well as their workers. To increase safety, a company must consider all risks that can cause hazards in the workplace. It is important for companies to have a strong focus toward risk in order to properly teach safety policies. To build an effective safety culture it is vital for both employees and job site leaders to work together to understand the relationship between risk and safety.
By definition, risk is “exposure to the chance of injury or loss; a hazard or dangerous chance.”
Risks can easily be avoided when taking proper precautions and accurately training employees on equipment use and workplace safety. Safety and risk have an inverse relationship, meaning that as safety increases risk decreases and vice versa. By spending more time focusing on safety a company can significantly reduce risks and their overall TRIR (Total Recordable Incident Rate).
By keeping awareness high and communication clear, employees can significantly reduce risks and ensure a safer work environment. Preventing unpredictable incidents from occurring can be difficult because not all risks can be foreseen, but when a company trains employees to skillfully and quickly make important decisions incidents can be reduced significantly.
Often, decision making is downplayed when it comes to safety training and it does not receive the amount of attention that is necessary. Humans use three different areas of their brain for decision making, but only one of those areas uses RATIONAL (sensible) and COGNITIVE (reasonable) thinking. This means that many quick decisions are driven by social and emotional pressures, which can lead to increased risks and incidents.
Many employees seek to accomplish productivity goals and often consider taking shortcuts that can increase risks and decrease safety. It is important for companies to stress to employees that safety should always come first. If asked, job site leaders would likely tell employees not to take the additional risks to meet a productivity schedule.
Solely focusing on training employees will not eliminate risks and incidents. It is primarily the job site leaders who have the biggest influence on a company’s safety culture. A good job site leader will ensure that all employees are following all safety policies and using cognitive thinking to make decisions. By adding decision making into the training process, a company can help decrease added risks and increase a stronger safety culture for their company.