Many business owners in Pennsylvania believe that they can keep their risk of workplace accidents down as long as employees follow established procedures. However, simply complying with procedures, as if one were checking items off a list, does not address the actual risks that are present in the workplace. This is why experts recommend a transition from a safety-minded culture to a risk-minded culture.
For example, instead of emphasizing the fact that all accidents are preventable, employers should think about how risk can never be eliminated. Instead of thinking, as workers themselves do, that safety is the responsibility of the company, employers should highlight the responsibility of every worker to recognize and communicate risks.
Involving workers is an important step: Employers should foster a trusting relationship with employees from the bottom up rather than simply issuing top-down orders. Employers should keep in mind that not all risks are equal and that whatever resources they have should be used for reducing those risks that can lead to large-scale incidents. This means knowing a company’s risk profile.
Risk management requires systematic thinking, and when safety incidents occur, employers must seek for the root of the problem, which will be a system issue. In a DuPont Sustainable Solutions survey of 350 executives, 44 percent admitted to gaps in their systems; these can arise through a silo mentality.
On account of this gap between safety- and risk-minded work cultures, workers may find themselves at a high risk for injury even though their employer is not necessarily being negligent. Those who are injured may want to speak with a workers’ compensation attorney about filing for benefits. Workers can receive these benefits, which generally cover medical expenses and a portion of lost wages, without needing to prove anyone’s negligence. If the claim is denied, an attorney may assist with an appeal.