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April 16 - April 22, 2012

Most workplace deaths and serious injuries are easily prevented with well-known safety precautions, yet horrific industry accidents still happen frequently. Who is most responsible for this situation?

More items for Health & Safety
Answers Votes
Employers, who still put profits/productivity above safety 41%
Field supervisors/foremen, who are lax in enforcing safety 33%
Workers, who don’t know or care enough about safety 24%
OSHA, which needs more authority and more enforcement backbone 3%


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Tagged categories: Accidents; Fatalities; Health and safety

Comment from Anna Jolly, (4/17/2012, 11:22 AM)

This is a very difficult poll because there is no one answer. It really depends on the situation. Accidents generally have multiple causes. There are workers who don't care about safety and they can cause the problem. If they don't know about safety then the question is why? Then, if the field supervisors are lax, why is that? Is it because they don't really care and its my way or the highway or has their employer caused a situation that encourages this laxness in enforcing safety. If only it were as easy as the poll.


Comment from Karen Fischer, (4/18/2012, 8:49 AM)

The poll results so far for this question are clearly indicative of the multi-faceted cause and effect. OSHA clearly has more than enough power and enforcement backbone and the regulations are extensive. So long as we have humans doing the work, we will have humans getting hurt. Mistakes and lapses in judgment are a part of the human condition that government agencies try to "regulate" into compliance. Employers, Field supervisors and Employees all must take their roll in Health & Safety issues seriously and actively work at their particular role. When you have State Specific laws that reward employees for NOT taking their role seriously (i.e. NY), people get hurt/die as a result. One player not listed in this poll is the trade union(s). They must also put in place agreements that do not support employee non-compliance with health & safety requirements. There are many players in this game, not just the three listed in this poll.


Comment from Car F., (4/19/2012, 10:34 AM)

Ultimately, the employer owns the workplace and have direct control over ALL the activities related to that workplace. The employer can provide good training and supervisios to the operation. The employer can also hire or fire anyone with poor safety habits. The employer can encourage good safety habits by example. Supervisors and workers will follow good practices if the employer shows interest in safet, however, it is often cheaper to take the chance and pay a small fine rather than implement a comprehensive safety program


Comment from Gerald Burbank, (4/19/2012, 11:08 AM)

I agree with some of the other comments on this matter. This is a multi-dimensional problem. Some employers do not stress safety, while others do. Even if an employer stresses safety, it can be difficult to control employees who often come to the jobsite, unprepared and poorly trained, from other companies that don't stress safety. People are creatures of habit. Sometimes old habits are hard to break, and expediency rules the day. No matter how much attention an owner/manager pays to safety, behaviors won't improve without the cooperation and vigilance of the workforce. When employees come to the job with poor habits, and when they act without thinking, then accidents are bound to occur. The converse is also true. If management is unwilling to develop a culture that embraces safety above all else, then employees are bound to follow suit. They only way to successfully manage safety is for all of these elements in the organization to work together. Owners need to commit to safety. Managers need to train and demand that workers comply with safety regulations. Employees need to understand how to perform their work safely, and they must believe that safety is in the best interest of all the players involved. Finally, regulators, trade organizations and unions must enforce safety in an effort insure that bad actors don't acquire an unfair advantage in the marketplace at the expense of their worker's health and well being.


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