I walk up to a worker and ask – Why are you exposing yourself to concrete dust, don’t you know that dust is very poisonous?
He looked at me and said: Do you think someone will leave his house to get himself killed at work?
We didn’t plan for this job, we were assigned this job after we reported to site and told to make sure we complete the job and no PPE is available.
Those words struck me hard. It is true no one wants to get himself killed, but at times the system of the job make some things difficult.
When workers a just pushed to do some job which was not planned for; they will not be prepared for the job also, so they may not have all the necessary materials to do the job safely.
Also when there is no good administrative plan, the may not have been provision for the equipment/materials needed for safe completion of the job.
When things like this happen is portrays poor Health and Safety culture in the organization. This situation will leave the workers incapacitated. Some workers will do the job at the detriment of their safety for fear of being sacked.
As HSE personnel, most of us face such challenge in our various job sites. Sometimes we feel incapacitated too. When there is no stop work policy, you cannot stop the job and you cannot also help the worker; WHAT OPTION ARE WE LEFT WITH?
As HSE personnel, we need to keep the hope alive. We should keep encouraging good job planning and a good job administrative plan.
Good job planning will give room for safe preparedness; good job administrative plan will make available all that is needed to ensure safe job completion.
Though the safety culture may be poor in your organization, if you are working directly with your management, you can work to improve the health and safety culture in your organization.
I had written previously on “4 keys to improving the health and safety culture” in your organization (Read Article). Adopt these concept to re-position your organization on a good ground with regards to health and safety.