Communication is a key component for any organization or business and plays a huge factor in the success of that company. Regardless of what industry a person works in, communication is essential for effective operations. It is important that management creates an environment where employees feel comfortable speaking up, whether it is to communicate an issue, idea or provide praise for other employees. Employees should always feel comfortable speaking with management to find best work practices or solutions to unresolved issues.
When an employer creates a barrier causing employees not to voice their concerns, the risk of an incident occurring increases tremendously. In construction, manufacturing or other manual labor industries the employees are typically the ones with the most hands-on knowledge of direct hazards in day-to-day work. Employees must immediately report known hazards to their employer to protect themselves and others within the workplace. Issues begin to arise when employees communicate and management does not listen. Not only does this portray a message of careless disregard from management, but it also continues putting employees at risk for a serious, or even fatal, incident.
If an employee has communicated issues to their employer and feel that the hazard is not being resolved, they should not simply say, “Oh well I tried!” While employers are primarily responsible for employee safety, employees should also take the responsibility of safety into their own hands. OSHA provides protection against employees who speak up for their rights as workers by providing a Whistleblower Protection Program. The Whistleblower Protection Program allows employees to file formal a complaint to OSHA regarding safety concerns within their workplace.
OSHA mandates that an employer may not retaliate against an employee for reporting safety concerns or violations to OSHA. This program allows OSHA to handle communications through an unbiased investigator who assists both the Complainant and the Respondent in filing relevant documents to prove or disprove the claim. It should be noted that while employees should take advantage of OSHA’s program when it is needed, this should not be the first step of action for a concerned employee.
If the line of communication is always open and clear within a company, employees and employers should be able to voice concerns back and forth to resolve problems that arise. By having strong communications within an organization employers can quickly identify better solutions or prevent future incidents from occurring. It becomes very difficult for a company to have low OSHA Recordable and Experience Modifier rates when hazards are constantly overlooked and go undisclosed.
Safety should consistently be the number one priority regardless of the industry!
SMART Safety offers a full suite of services that allow customers to put their energy into other aspects of the business and rely on SMART Safety to manage their safety program. When our customers allow SMART Safety to effectively communicate best work practices and teach OSHA compliance, their incident rates have been proven to drop drastically. For more information on how SMART Safety can help your company, visit our Contact Info page to reach out via phone or email.
More than just safety consultants, SMART Safety is an integrated safety services system.
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