Another touchy topic, but hey I have never been accused of shying away from a good debate. I recently aquired a new client who had a serious accident at his/her facility. They hated the fact that one of their workers was killed; however their attitude towards lost-time accidents and OSHA recordables was very lax ("part of doing business"). The client is the parent company and I have been hired to do a "cultural investigation" the this plant and the company as a whole. What I am finding is very interesting; some quotes from interviews with all levels of the organization:
"Accidents are unfortunate events that are part of doing business in our line of work"
"Son I have been in this business, how old are you??? [my answer] longer than you have been alive and this type of work is impossible not to get hurt" (by the way, this veterna worker spent 15 minutes telling me about how he lost four fingers on his hand and was sort of proud of his dedication to his profession)
Does your company strive for an injury free workplace or just government compliance?
Russell, I do quite a bit of maintenance and breakdown work for a local company that manufactures plastic products. They have not had an accident there, in the whole 15 years that the factory has been going, mainly because they have a "culture" of regularly sitting down and discussing SAFETY. No holds barred in these meeetings, in which everyone from the MD to the new boy have equal say(this company employs 300 people). Bryan:
Accidents are unfortunate events that are part of doing business in our line of work"
This sort of attitude, in this day and age, is purely un-acceptable and the management of this workplace, need a good swift kick in the pants, for such a lax attitude to something that could cost the life of a worker.
Re: Are ALL accidents avoidable?#149083 06/27/0311:08 PM06/27/0311:08 PM
it's quite simple, do you believe that all accidents are preventable? Most do not, and others do. Which side of the fence do you stand on and why do you stand on that side. I for one do believe that all accidents are preventable, it is just up to US to prevent them; and when i say US, I do not mean safety professionals alone! It takes the efforts of everyone.
Re: Are ALL accidents avoidable?#149086 06/28/0309:56 PM06/28/0309:56 PM
Not to jump in Brian,but are you saying that ALL workplace accidents can be prevented?
I'm not argueing,I'm with you on striving for safety.
I can remember an instance in which I believe an injury was unavoidable. I was on a job once in which 2 painters were working on a scaffold,one of the men suffered a stroke,he started to fall,the other one grabbed him and in the process,fell against the railing and got a nasty cut on his forehead,several stitches as I remember.
Both men are still working the one having almost fully recovered from the stroke.
He had had a complete physical a month before this and been given a clean bill of health.
I realize this instance is a little off the wall,but my feelings are that as long as human frailties and human nature is in the equation,we'll always have mistakes and accidents.
But there's always room for improvement,and we can never stop striving.
Re: Are ALL accidents avoidable?#149087 06/29/0304:08 PM06/29/0304:08 PM
I would agree with your incident, but in my book that was not an "accident" as I define an accident. It was an unfornuate turn of events that occurred at work due to somones uncontrollable medical issues and then someone doing a great act of kindness in helping a fellow worker. I like to use Merriam-Webster's definition of "Accident" - an unfortunate event resulting especially from carelessness or ignorance. With using this defintion, i do not see your incident as an "accident" that i would say is controllable; although there are times I wish we could have some control over our employees eating, drinking, and exercise habits (JUST KIDDING HERE FOLKS!).
Re: Are ALL accidents avoidable?#149089 06/29/0309:11 PM06/29/0309:11 PM