“There’s a sense that a new guy’s life isn’t worth as much ‘cos he hasn’t put his time in yet.” Chris Taylor, Platoon. “Temp” as in temporary; a temporary person. The designation shows how much value we tend to place on those in the workforce who won’t be around very long.
Before you blame the worker, or even the PPE itself for some workplace incident, consider that the worker may be sleep deprived. Often, when a worker is confronted for violating a policy, he or she will shrug and say, “I forgot.” Many safety professionals are realizing that human errors, behavioral drift and even recklessness can be traced to a growing threat to workplace safety –a lack of sleep.
Years ago I worked in talent development for one of the largest faith-based healthcare systems in the United States. I left it to pursue other career goals but it never left me, at least not completely.
Recently I was talking to colleagues on the subject of talking to strangers on airplanes. Like many safety professionals I spend a fair amount of time crammed into an uncomfortable seat, breathing stale air, and having my space invaded by a mouth-breather whose idea of a good trip is chatting up the stranger beside him.
With the rising costs associated with healthcare, an aging workforce more likely to require treatment for chronic illness, and the simple fact that people in good physical condition tend to be injured less severely than those who are out of shape, organizations are increasingly able to argue that what you do on your own time is indeed their business.
Resolution #1: Less Focus On Preaching More On Teaching. Awareness campaigns are important for the unaware. But most workers who ultimately get hurt do so knowing something they know is dangerous, or at very least that they suspected COULD be dangerous.
For the record, I’m against euphemisms; I believe masking the inadequacies or social stigma of one state by calling it something else is wrong-headed and pathetic. I’ve been called a lot of things, but politically correct isn’t one of them.