Preventing Workplace Accidents

There were two workplace fatalities in Utah in one week and both occurred in excavations. It was a sobering reminder that despite decades of OSHA regulations, cases of workplace fatalities continue. Our assessment is that in general, the workforce populations most likely to be injured or killed on the job are the very new and then the tenured individual with years of experience. Why? Because the new person may not have the experience and job savvy and may be anxious to perform, and thus may be reluctant to ask questions about tasks. More importantly, they may not ask questions so as to not reveal their lack of competence – the exact reason why they should ask questions. These newer individuals need mentoring and added attention while they become familiar with their job.  On the other side, it is oftentimes the tenured individual who becomes a workplace statistic because they may tent to approach their tasks based on tradition rather than the most effective and safe practice. They may take what we would call “shortcuts,” and in so doing, have exposure to injury or worse. Make sure that all individuals at your workplace follow uniform practice that meets or exceeds OSHA and industry safety standards.

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