Hazards happen no matter whose shift it is. Spills remain slippery until properly mopped up. All workers need to take ownership and responsibility to address hazards in their work community. This might mean cleaning up spills, picking up and putting away left out tools, or setting up warning signs for potential workplace trip hazards. This includes the need to notify coworkers of potential risks.
Workers are often worried about receiving blame for housekeeping hazards. A common reflexive response is “it wasn’t me” or “that’s not my job,” but the reality is, watching out for the safety of others is a full-time job for all workers. Employees should work collectively to address potential dangers as they are encountered rather than leaving the hazard for the next worker.
There’s a good reason the adage “if you see something, say something” is a universally-held safety team slogan worldwide. Management must encourage workers to either rectify hazards or notify someone who can fix dangerous situations before dangers become accidents. The National Safety Council reported that in 2020 work-related illnesses stemming from injuries were responsible for an astonishing 65 million lost working days and $163.9 billion in total economic impact in the United States—not including accompanying pain and suffering.
It takes a collaborative effort to maintain a safe workplace, and coworkers should encourage each other not to walk past hazards and leave the potential danger for someone else to deal with. If you see something, Don’t Walk on By. You might just save a life, and it could be yours.
Our safety team is available to help members with safety plans and topics for safety meetings. Contact us 360-943-9198 x122, or [email protected].