The Worker's Role in Safety

March 08 2021
By: Terry L. Mathis

The role of safety professionals is discovering the risks and addressing them via the Hierarchy of Controls. The role of the worker is often defined as doing the job and complying with the administrative controls. This has proven to be an inadequate role for the worker. A multitude of low-probability risks often fail to be addressed by rules and procedures. The answer is not more rules and procedures, it is better prepared workers.

Workers need to know and address the risks not covered by administrative controls. This often requires a radical change in safety training and organizing of the workforce. The Worker's Role in Safety Most safety training is simply a redundant recap of administrative controls and regulatory requirements. An analysis needs to be made of which precautions within the control of workers could make the most difference in accidents. Strategies need to be developed to encourage these precautions, and metrics need to be used to measure progress. When both safety professionals and workers attack risks from two different sides there is little room left for accidental injuries.

Terry L. Mathis

Terry Mathis, Founder and retired CEO of ProAct Safety, has served as a consultant and advisor for top organizations the world over. A respected strategist and thought leader, Terry has authored five books, numerous articles, videos and blogs, and is known for his dynamic and engaging presentations. EHS Today has named him one of the '50 People Who Most Influenced EHS' four consecutive times. Business leaders and safety professionals seek Terry's practical insight and unique ability to introduce new perspectives that lead to real change.

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