Five Popular Safety Methods That Don’t Actually Make You Any Safer in the Workplace

by A Guest Author

It seems that every night, as I cosy down to watch my favourite shows, there are more advertisements talking about safety features and safety products then there is actually entertainment.  E-mails get flooded with the latest and safest products as well and it seems that there is someone somewhere talking about how to make life safer.  Many of these products and services are geared toward keeping the workplace safe and can be quite popular in their application.  The problem is, however, that a little research and a desire to find out what it is exactly you are purchasing can quickly show that these popular safety methods do not actually make you any safer in the workplace.

Safety Equipment

Surprisingly, safety equipment usage at work can actually increase the likelihood of an unsafe environment.  Wait, what?  That’s right.  We as humans, being the highly intelligent beings that we are, find that when we suit up with pads, helmets, or safety equipment, we become invincible.  It is sad but true.  Studies show that when safety equipment is used risky behaviour increases.  Give the guy next to you on the rig a helmet, and all Hell could start happening.  Fantastic.

Zero Tolerance

Zero tolerance policies mean that instead of three strikes, one is all that’s necessary to bench you and keep you out of a job.  Great in theory, yes, but not actually keeping you safer at the workplace.  The reason is that zero tolerance means no recourse for actions, no judgment rendered judicially, and no due process of the law.  As a result, a small infraction can send you home and mean you are out of a job, or the guy in the cubicle next to you.  A great asset to a company lost quickly or an angry guy looking for revenge.  Either way, zero tolerance harms the company and can lead to a more dangerous environment.  I have zero tolerance for that!

Sex Offender Registry

The sex offender registry is a great way to keep perverted beings away from you at work and safer in your communities, right?  Wrong.  These lists do nothing for actual safety.  Yes, you may not have to sit next to a guy with a lengthy and twisted rap sheet at the board meeting, but, when you head home to your house, he can still be living next door.  This list simply keeps them away from you at the job but forces these individuals into seclusion, and we all no criminal minds work best when left to their own devices away from civilisation.  I guess I will not be sharing coffee with a creep in the morning but good to know he has had the time all day to think about it.

Speed Limits

For many individuals, the workplace is on the open road.  Working in hot conditions where the asphalt is the floor of choice and the sun the source of light.  Keeping individuals safe in these conditions are speed limits.  These clearly posted signs are meant to keep traffic slowed down and workers safe as they head out each day.  Not so fast, though—unintended pun noted.  Speed limits have been shown not to slow down drivers and actually serve as a stepping stone or goal for many to exceed.  This makes working on the open road a dangerous workplace to have.

No Fly Lists

Okay, so the airplane may not be a workplace per say, unless you are a flight attendant.  Still, this is a mode of transportation used by individuals across the world daily as part of their business routine.  And it is the airplane and airline industry that has been of much focus since the attacks of 2001 as a location for increased security measures.  The No Fly List, for example, has been created so that individuals with terroristic or violent links can be removed from planes and you can be assured that you are safer in flight.  Or so the story goes.  The fact is that this list is about as worthless as the paper it is written on, though the list is long so maybe the paper is worth more.  The list of names on the No Fly list is in the millions, and includes foreign nationals, those with questionable ties, and political exiles.  Also on this list are children, the elderly, and the deceased.  Unless night of the living dead includes an airplane ride, I do not really think the deceased are a concern that we have to worry about.  I would rather focus on those wishing to do harm who were living and breathing.  Many of these individuals, however, are not on the list or simply know ways to get around it.  Where are the exits located again?

Okay so the above items don’t actually make the workplace any safer but there are some things that do.  Take cable tray stands for instance, they help to protect workers from trip hazards and maintain health and safety – and that’s exactly what we want when we’re at work!

This post was written by A Guest Author

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