The August edition of D.O.M. magazine is now online. It is a bonus digital-only issue with a theme of safety and environmental. You can view it by clicking HERE.
Here’s a question for you regarding safety. Who is responsible for safety in the workplace?
Is it the company’s responsibility? Shouldn’t the company be responsible for the safety of its employees? After all, most companies have signs saying Safety First prominently displayed throughout the facility.
Do you think that safety is first in the company’s list of business priorities? I would opine that it is second or even third. Profit is clearly the number one priority. After all, without a profitable business model, the company would cease to exist. Even so, the company must invest in safety and provide as safe a work environment for its employees as reasonably possible.
I say “reasonably possible” because there is no way any work environment can be 100% safe. Sure, there are some jobs that are inherently dangerous. Crabbing in the Bering Sea comes to mind. Even if we aren’t working on a fishing vessel in the middle of the Bering Sea, we are constantly surrounded by varying forms of risk. We could slip on the shower floor and fracture a bone. We could be involved in an accident on the way to work.
The only way to avoid danger is to not take any risks — and that just isn’t possible!
We need to make decisions in our personal and professional lives that mitigate risks to a level we are comfortable with. Do you enjoy skydiving? Scuba diving? If you are willing to accept the risks involved with those activities, then go for it. Those are personal choices. you must make for yourself
At work, if we choose to make unsafe decisions, not only are we putting ourselves at risk, but our fellow employees and our company as well. Our employer expects us to maintain a certain level of safety. It establishes safety policies that we must follow. Lockout/tagout, PPE and fall protection programs are some examples. Even though these minimum standards are in place, it is up to us to follow them.
And there lies the answer to the question — WE as individuals are responsible for our personal safety in the workplace. Working on a hot day in an unconditioned hangar or on the ramp? Drink plenty of water and be aware of signs of heat stress, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Need to get on the wing to inspect the fuselage? Use approved ladders and stands and use fall protection equipment when needed. Be aware of your mental alertness. Extreme fatigue can affect your mental capacity as if you had indulged in a beer or two.
Do you want to enhance safety in the workplace? The Dirty Dozen is a good place to start. The FAA has a Dirty Dozen document you can view (and print) at https://www.faasafety.gov/files/gslac/library/documents/2012/nov/71574/d...
Thanks for reading, and stay safe!