Reducing Unsafe Acts through Selection and Placement

Creating the right safety climate isn’t just academics. One study assessed safety climate in terms of items such as my supervisor says a good word whenever he sees the job done according to the safety rules. The study found that (1) employees did develop consistent perceptions concerning supervisory safety practices and (2) these safety climate perceptions predicted safety records in the months following the survey.

Proper employees screening and placement can reduce unsafe acts. Here, the employer’s aim is identify the trait (such as visual skill) that might predict accidents on the job in question, and then screen candidates for this trait. For example, a test like the Employees Reliability Inventory (ERI) can help employers reduce acts at work. The ERI purportedly measures reliability dimensions such as emotional maturity conscientiousness safe job performance and courteous job performance. While the findings of one study were not definitive using the ERI in the selection process did seem to be associated with reductions in work related accidents. Similarly , using job simulation tests (which attempt to measure the applicant by simulating physically demanding work activities) and physical capabilities tests (which measure muscle strength and motion) so seen to predict who will have more accidents Using simulation and capabilities tests reflect the common sense view the people do best on how to perform is safety?

Asking about a candidate’s workers compensation history might at first glance seem a sensible thing to do. However, under the Americans with disability Act it is unlawful to inquire (prior to hiring) about an applicant’s workers compensation injuries and claims. You also cannot ask applicants whether they have a disability or require them to take tests that tend to screen out those with disabilities. However, you can usually ask whether an applicant has the ability to perform a job. You can eve ask. Do you know of any reason why you would not be able to perform the various functions of the job you are seeking?

Reducing unsafe acts through training:

Safety training is another way to reduce unsafe acts, especially for new employees. You should instruct them in safe practices and procedures, warn them of potential hazards and work on developing a safety conscious attitude. OSHA has published two useful booklets, Training Requirements under OSHA and Teaching Safety and Health in the Workplace. The New Workforce feature below provides an additional perspective

Note that the employer cannot just provide training and assume it will be effective they must show that employees learn what to do. For example, OSHA’s respiratory protection standard requires that each employee be able to demonstration how to inspect, put on remove use and check respirator seals.

Reducing unsafe acts through motivation: Posters, incentives and positive reinforcement.

Employers also use various tools to motivate workers to work safely. Safety posters are one. Safety posters can apparently increase safe behavior but they are no substitute for a comprehensive safety program .Employees should combine them with other techniques (lie screening and training) to reduce unsafe conditions and acts, and also change the posters often.

Incentive programs are also successful at reducing workplace injuries. Management at the Golden Eagle refinery in California instituted one such safety incentive plan. Employees earn WINGS points of engaging in one or more of 28 safety activities, such as conducting safety meetings, and taking emergency response training. Employees can earn up to $20 per month per person by accumulating points.

Some contend that safety incentive programs are misguided OSHA has argued for instance, that they don’t cut down on actual injuries or illnesses but only on injury and illness reporting. One expert argues that by encouraging habitual behavior they can fool employees into letting their guard down. One option is to emphasize nontraditional incentives.

For instance, give employees recognition awards for identifying hazards or for demonstrating their safety and health proficiency. In any case for an incentives program to be successful all other pieces/ parts of a comprehensive safety program need to be in place say one expert.

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