Working at Height…It accounts for approximately 2/3 of the fatal accidents that occur on construction sites each year, yet time and again we see people taking unnecessary risks to ‘get the job done’. Doing this fails to appreciate the simple fact that to earn money today they are perhaps taking a chance that will result in either a short term injury, potentially creating a loss of immediate earnings, or maybe a long term injury that could perhaps jeopardise their job by being unable to work or more seriously their own death – just to get the job done?
Seems a strange way of thinking doesn’t it, but I’m sure if we are honest we can truly say that we have all done something like this.
It’s perhaps easy to say that at times we all forget our common sense and take risks that we know could end up with a negative consequence but choose to ignore this risk as the perceived benefit of earning greater amounts of money or getting away early are far too appealing. We must realise it is a responsibility of each of us to ensure we carry out our work in the safest way possible. Productivity is obviously very important, without it none of us would be in business, but it should never take precedence over safety standards.
Awareness at all levels is key to achieving a different way of thinking, many people I talk to explain it is often difficult to work safely when their superiors are always pushing them to drive the project forward. One of my many answers to this is usually ‘who is most invested in your safety?’ and the obvious answer is YOU the individual. If you feel you are being asked to work in an unsafe manner, advise your employer they are potentially breaking the law and that you are unwilling to put yourself in harm’s way ‘just to get the job done’.
Until everyone takes this stance and applies pressure to those who would ask them to work unsafely we will never achieve the standards we all expect and want. Remember, you are your own Safety Manager and it is your responsibility as much as your employers to ensure you go home at the end of the day.