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The 'ah-ha' moment

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As a safety guy articles on occupational safety are of interest. When reading about improvements for the worker, whether it is a new safer piece of equipment or a positive approach to safety, that information should be shared to all worksites. You never know when a worker gets an “ah-ha” moment and has a change in their behavior.

When that change gets noticed by co-workers there may be more “ah-ha” moments and the light goes on for entire crews. That is the beginning of a safety culture change.

Recently there was an article in the local paper about a decline in on-the-job fatalities. Nationally the number of workplace fatalities that occurred in 2008 (5,071), was down 10.4% from 2007. In Colorado there was a 19% decrease in workplace fatalities from 2007 (126) to 2008 (102).

The decline may well be the result of workers having a better understanding of safety on the job, or companies improving on their safety training methods. Whatever the reasons for the decline, the idea of more workers going home at the end of the day is significant. The thought of all workers going home safely is a worthy goal.

If you remember the safety class that discussed the ‘safety pyramid’, it described the bottom of the pyramid as hazards. Then it narrowed to the near misses, followed by injuries, and topping out with a fatality.

As an example: For every 3000 hazards out in your job area you will have about 300 near miss accidents. These are just close calls. For each 300 near miss incidents you will have 30 injuries that are recordable. And for every 30 injuries there is a potential of having a fatality!

If you are one of the many workers that really put safety to the forefront of your work day, keep it up. Share your attitude with your co-workers, your management team and encourage them to work safer. Some of us already know that those shortcuts we take can cause problems and don’t actually save time.

With a working safety culture on the job we can reduce workplace fatalities even more for 2010.

Remember the pyramid: Nobody volunteers for that top job.

Note: If your business is in need of safety training please contact Safety Education & Training. They provide 10-hour Construction training and workers receive an OSHA 10-hour card, or specific topics such as HAZWOPER refresher, Confined Space, or Aerial Lifts.

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