CoatingsPro Magazine

NOV 2015

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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Page 27 of 83

28 NOVEMBER 2015 COATINGSPROMAG.COM Safety Watch A ccording to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were slightly more than three million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported in 2013. W hile this number is lower than previous years, the question that remains is: How many near misses occurred in the workplace that were not reported and could result in a future injury or fatality? When Workers Don't Report Heinrich 's w idely accepted accident triangle theor y states that for ever y major injur y, there were 29 minor injuries and 300 near misses. A ll too often, these near miss situations are forgotten minutes after they occur as employees rush to get back to the daily routine. Tere are many reasons employ- ees choose not to report a near miss incident, including fear of retribution, a desire to avoid red tape, or a desire to avoid interrupting the work pace. W hile the repercussions of violating safety protocols may fash through employees' minds when they witness something wrong or take a shortcut themselves, the path of least resistance is often to ignore the situation. Te immediate efects of inhibiting personal produc- tivity, for example, can outweigh what is perceived to be a moderate risk that probably will not happen anyway. On a roofing project, for example, employees may be climbing several stories of scaffolding to access and treat certain features of the build- ing. T he super visor has checked to ensure that ever yone is wearing the proper safety harnesses and other protective gear that the job requires. But just as work for the day is being wrapped up, one worker slips, coming dow n the scaffolding and falls nearly a f loor before regaining balance. In a situation like this, fellow employees may not report the incident because no injur y occurred and ever yone was wearing their safety equipment. T he harness did what it was designed to do, and the slip, it can be assumed, was the result of exhaustion at the end of a long, physical day. T he problem w ith not reporting an accident like this is that, even The challenge for employers is fnding a solution that motivates employees to report safety issues without viewing it as a negative activity. According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommendations, employers need to have a proactive workplace safety program in place. By Rob Sweeney, CEO for WorkplaceAware Technology Key to Improving Safety on the Job

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