The author:


October 25, 2022United StatesBlog

5 Common Obstacles that every Safety Professionals must overcome

When it comes to Safety, there are many challenges that industry professionals face on a daily basis. Stormy seas make for seasoned sailors, and the same holds true for our field of work (or fields, depending on your employer.) Here are 5 common obstacles that every safety professionals must overcome: 1. Lack of Training One of the biggest obstacles many safety professionals face with most workforces is a lack of documented training. Many employers don’t provide adequate training for their employees, which can lead to lack of hazard awareness, disengagement from tasks and dangerous judgment calls while operating equipment. It’s important for safety professionals to gauge their employees’ depth of knowledge and figure out the best way to address short term gaps in hazard identification and long term learning goals that will encourage safe behaviors. 2. Poorly Maintained Equipment Another hurdle many safety professionals must overcome is poorly maintained equipment. If equipment isn’t properly maintained, it tends to malfunction more often. This can contribute to accidents or at the very least cause employees to stray from their training to finish their work. For example, if a machine’s guard is broken, it can expose workers to moving parts that could cause serious injuries. Systematic pre-use checklists, inspection processes, continuous improvement tracking and a tight preventative maintenance schedule are crucial to minimize their risks. It might be time to pay a visit to the maintenance department. 3. Unsafe Work Conditions The term “Unsafe work conditions” seems pretty vague as it varies from facility to facility. However, almost everyone has an idea of what right looks like. The trick here is to align expectations on what is an acceptable risk and what needs to be highlighted immediately. Do not rely on common sense here. Unsafe work conditions can include exposure to hazardous materials, slippery floors, and even cramped spaces. If these conditions aren’t corrected, they can lead to accidents. Processes for identifying hazards, containing their exposure and correcting them are very important. 4. Lack of Personal Protective Equipment PPE is essential for protecting workers from injuries, but many employers don’t provide it, don’t provide enough of it or don’t provide the right kinds for their employees. This is not (usually) for a lack of trying. Unfortunately, workers are left vulnerable to injury if they’re exposed to hazards. To ensure workers are adequately protected, it is the responsibility of the safety professional to assess each job’s risks and hazards, select the appropriate PPE, train employees on their use and ensure they can replace them when damaged or fitting poorly. Of course, those are just the easy steps. Just wait until you have to enforce consistent use. 5. Attitude Problems The final obstacle most Safety professionals will run into: attitude problems. Generally, safety professionals are either seen as the police or a pain. Some will be annoyed by our presence while others seem to get nervous. Most people tend to have a “it won’t happen to me” mentality. These are typically the same individuals who “forget” to follow safe practices or wear their PPE (sound familiar?) because they’re in a hurry or they don’t think it’s necessary. These mindsets can lead to accidents and injuries. To create a safe work environment, safety professionals must find ways of promoting a culture of safety while somehow carefully driving the accountability train. Safety professionals have a lot of obstacles to overcome, but these challenges ultimately make for improving our knowledge and experience in the field. They also improve our ability to make informed decisions and implement effective solutions. Whenever you find yourself dealing with one of these challenges, don’t give up! Know that you’ll be all the better once you’ve figured it out.

Follow Me on Twitter: