Workplace Safety: Beware of These 4 Most Common Safety Excuses

Workplace Safety: Beware of These 4 Most Common Safety Excuses

18th November 2019

Safety professionals hear different excuses day after day regarding why an employee or organisation failed to adhere to the set safety rules and regulations. The victims often, unfortunately, believe the excuses to be valid reasons for doing things the way they did. These excuses need to be dealt with accordingly to avoid putting the victims and the workforce in danger, both now and in the future. Here are some of the most common workplace safety excuses and how to deal with them.
Please read on.

1.    You Caught Me the One Time I Did This
You probably must’ve heard this statement a dozen times as an excuse from an employee or company owner. The “one time” they straddle an A-Frame ladder, or the “one time” they bought substandard equipment, or the “one time” they forgot to wear their personal protective gear. There’s a big chance that “one time” has been and could’ve gone on for quite some time. Should this happen, ensure to issue proper warnings to the victims concerning safety violations and respective consequences. 
Relevant protective gear and fall protection should be adhered to at any given time and place, especially when working at height. Ensure also to provide your workplace with CE accredited fabrications, which are basically equipment and products designed to comply with the relevant EU safety standards.  

2.    It Seemed Like the Best Idea at the Time
The reality with this statement is that the employee actually thought about what they were about to do before doing it. This situation could most likely occur if there’s no proper planning of the work at hand. This includes understanding the task well, all steps of conducting the work, and ensuring all the relevant fall protection is provided. No employee should be allowed to proceed with a particular task without the necessary planning. Do this, and nothing will ever seem like a good idea at any given time.

3.    I’ve Been Doing it This Way for A Long Time
Some workers are quite resistant to change. And with the current advancements in technology, not everything must be done the same way as before. You won’t be surprised to hear a worker claim their way of doing is just ok because they’ve been doing so for a while without getting hurt. Well, first, thank God they haven’t been hurt. But the fact that there are rules and regulations in place means that someone must’ve been hurt or there’s a potential hazard in that particular line of work. All it takes is one unexpected condition, and it will be too late for excuses.

4.    This is How I was Told to Do it
This is a two-fold excuse where workers claim they were instructed by the boss. This puts the workforce in danger, whether it’s intentional or not. Each employee has a say in their safety and should not be taken for granted. The supervisor or any boss should never put the employee(s) in a dangerous situation. You need to ensure that your workforce is aware of the potential hazards in the workplace and how to correct them. It should be made clear right from the top management to the junior staff that safety compliance is not optional whatsoever. 
The Bottom Line
Training and educating your workforce in matters affecting their safety is very crucial. They’ll be competent enough to successfully and safely perform the different tasks assigned to them, hence reducing the possibility of such excuses explained above. Encourage your employees to always report any problem and to first consult with the safety officer when in doubt.