Creating a safe workplace environment is quite challenging, especially in the industries where employees are exposed to immediate hazards. However, the number of accidents occurring in workplace settings involving high levels of risk can be reduced by promoting rigid compliance with the set safety standards established within the organization and supported by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines. By combining active education and reinforcement of a clear understanding of the safety standards among workers, coupled with the promotion of compliance and workplace responsibility, one will be able to increase safety rates affectively within the workplace setting.
In order to ensure that the proposed principles of safety are met, it is vital to consult the current standards. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workplace safety hinges on several key points. By reinforcing these points in the workplace, one can avoid safety issues and minimize the risks of injury. Specifically, education remains the primary tool for promoting safety in the workplace since it allows for informed decision-making and the ability to recognize a threat as such when encountering it (Franco-Santos & Doherty, 2017). Therefore, by encouraging risk management education and building an understanding of the rationale behind safety measures in employees and managers, one can achieve appropriate safety levels.
Indeed, studies show that incorporating education into the promotion of safety standards is critical for building the necessary level of awareness in workers. In fact, the study by Fauzania et al. (2018, p. 425) illustrates that, without previous education and guidance, the opposite is highly plausible: “Although the workers understand the information about OHS, many of them don’t implement it when carrying out the job.” Therefore, merely knowing about the essential rules is not enough for staff members to follow them; instead, they need to learn about the repercussions of failing to follow them, particularly, the high probability of an accident and the adverse health outcomes.
Additionally, preparation programs must be integrated into the academic setting where prospective employees receive education and the relevant knowledge and skills for operating in the target workplace setting. The early introduction to the idea of workplace safety and development of the understanding of workplace risks re expected to lead to a conscious choice of complying with the established standards for maintaining safety in the workplace.
Furthermore, the importance of assistance and outreach while maintaining confidentiality must be emphasized at all costs when promoting workplace safety. It is quite natural for staff members to be wary of displaying the lack of knowledge about something as seemingly basic as safeguarding standards (Alhassan & Poku, 2018). Therefore, to minimize the effect of their insecurity and create the setting where they will be eager to learn new information about the prevention of injuries and accidents in the workplace is vital.
The goals of implementing the described change to the current behaviors in employees in regard to safety measures include the prevention of death and injuries in the workplace as a result of failing to meet the set safety standards. Moreover, it is believed that, with the focus on teaching staff members to internalize and accept safety measures, they will also develop higher morale and will be able to spot problems in their mental health, managing them accordingly. Namely, currently, the failure to meet safety measures is deemed as the outcome of callousness and the absence of understanding of the accident probability. However, once workers are informed and educated about the dangers of failing to comply with the existing safety measures, intentional neglect of the standards in question will imply the presence of mental health problems that may make a worker disregard the presence of an obvious danger and dismiss it as something immaterial (Boini et al., 2017). Therefore, the promotion of safety education will also become the platform for assisting workers in identifying mental health issues and making the necessary steps to handle these issues properly.
Finally, the proposed change in the management of safety issues and the reinforcement of safety standards within a company will lead to a reduced threat of lawsuits. A range of cases have been filed as a result of a company failing to enforce the principles of workplace safety in the company. For example, in 2020 alone, more than 1,000 lawsuits were field as a result of workplace accidents caused by the failure to ensure proper safety during key performance processes (Johnson-Bolden, 2021). Remarkably, a range of these cases were connected to organizations’ inability to promote proper standards of preventing the development of coronavirus in employees (Johnson-Bolden, 2021). On the on hand, the lack of caution coupled with the irresponsible attitude toward the issue of workplace safety has been observed in the target audiences, which has and its effect on the emergence of COVID-19 cases in the workplace settings (Johnson-Bolden, 2021). On the other hand, there has been an evident lack of care in the actions of companies and its managers, who did not take time to establish clear and rigid instructions regarding the course of actions for employees in order to avoid the disease (Alhassan & Poku, 2018). As a result, a range of companies have been facing legal charges in connection to poorly reinforced or inefficiently introduced standards of workplace safety.
Therefore, there are clear indications that cooperation and compliance should be the center of the further strategy in addressing the problem of workplace safety. Since studies indicate that the lack of compliance and the failure to recognize the corporate code of ethics and safety standards as crucial lead to the breach of precaution measures, appropriate changes to the organizational behaviors must be made. However, the mere adherence to instructions without their proper understanding is unlikely to have an effect on employees’ behaviors since they are likely to make a misjudgment if they do not understand the basic premise of the proposed safety standards. Thus, active education and the promotion of awareness must be regarded as the standards for promoting change.
To ensure that the principles of safety in the workplace are adhered to in the future, it is critical to establish homogenous and clear, OSHA-based standards in the workplace by enforcing education and development of understanding in employees. Specifically, workers will need to recognize the significance of using the proposed safety measures and realize the cost of failing to meet the presented guidelines. Additionally, penalties for failing to meet workplace safety standards must be enhanced alongside with the implementation of better workplace monitoring. As a result, workers will comply with the principles of safety promoted by OSHA, thus, contributing to a gradual yet consistent drop in the number of accidents and injuries in the workplace.
Alhassan, R. K., & Poku, K. A. (2018). Experiences of frontline nursing staff on workplace safety and occupational health hazards in two psychiatric hospitals in Ghana. BMC Public Health, 18(1), 1-12.
Boini, S., Colin, R., & Grzebyk, M. (2017). Effect of occupational safety and health education received during schooling on the incidence of workplace injuries in the first 2 years of occupational life: A prospective study. BMJ Open, 7(7).
Fauzania, P. N., Aryanti, T., Dalil, N. H., & Putri, A. C. (2018). The safety awareness of construction workers regarding workplace health and safety standard. Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, 299, 424-426.
Franco-Santos, M., & Doherty, N. (2017). Performance management and well-being: a close look at the changing nature of the UK higher education workplace. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 28(16), 2319-2350.
Johnson-Bolden, N. (2021). Employees filed hundreds of worker safety lawsuits in 2020. OHSonline. Web.