Why the Workplace Requires Safety Measures
It’s easy to laugh off the level of caution taken by most businesses when it comes to employee injury, but there are good reasons why such extreme (and sometimes, seemingly redundant) steps are taken: the risk for injury is present in every workplace, and those steps protect you and your coworkers. There’s also good reason to report if your business is not complying with these steps.
Plenty of amusement, as well as frustration, gets voiced over regular meetings on safety in the workplace or the large “caution: wet” markers when there’s been a small coffee spill, but such steps have been shown to decrease injury.
A common assumption among particularly white-collar workers is that their workplace is safe enough they don’t need the hassle of these extra steps. According to this line of thinking, only a fool could get injured in an office location. The idea brings to mind some physical comedy routine out of Charlie Chaplin, where the person falls over someone’s feet stuck out in the aisle or managed to clumsily knock a hanging potted plant onto his head.
These images are, of course, funny, and they help dismiss the real risk. The truth is, serious injuries happen in every work location. While there are professions and locations that are more dangerous than others, the risk is still always present. Ignoring that risk can lead to very serious consequences.
Slips and falls, falling objects, even potential electrocution can occur anywhere. There are plenty of examples of the average office worker falling and causing long-term harm to themselves simply because a colleague thought it pointless to put down that “caution: wet” sign. Plenty of people also trip over those feet left out in the walking lanes at work. Others get hit by falling objects. When these things occur in reality, the humor is lost, and by then, it is too late to regret not taking those safety measures seriously.
The injuries themselves are often far more serious than people imagine as well. Falling often leads to just a bruise or a scrape, but that is not always the case. A falling object can mean a cut, but it can mean much more than that as well. The risk is always present for serious injury, including anything from broken bones to brain injuries. And the results of those injuries can be a long-term disability or even death.
For that reason, employers and employees should always take office safety seriously. Whether it’s an extra meeting, putting down the proper markers for spills, or keeping areas clear for foot traffic, these steps (which in truth are most simple and easily followed) can save you or your coworker’s health.
For anyone working in an office or other location whose boss laughs off these regulations, report them to the proper authorities. Most likely, they are dismissing the risk so they can dismiss the responsibility from themselves. But again, just because they dismiss it, doesn’t mean the risk is not still present.