The number of workplace safety issues an organization has and the preventive measures they have in place to prevent them are vital for its success. For instance, if an organization has several unaddressed issues in the workplace, it can lead to several consequences down the line. On the other hand, there are organizations that have many workplace hazards and yet they are ensuring worker safety as well as meeting OSHA compliance. That’s because these are responsible organizations that address the issues effectively and take employee safety seriously. One of the things they do is employ safety professionals who can effectively reduce workplace risks. But who are safety professionals, what are their responsibilities, why are they rising in popularity, and what are the challenges they face?
Workplace safety issues led to the rise of safety professionals
Safety professionals are relatively new in the workplace. However, more organizations are employing them for the same reason – to reduce workplace safety incidents, costs, and ensure OSHA compliance. Let’s see how workplace safety issues led to the rise of safety professionals.
Safety in the workplace has always been a much-debated topic. While many organizations, in the earlier years especially, tried to ignore workplace safety, it led to a plethora of consequences for them. Not only does ignoring safety issues lead to serious workplace injuries and illnesses (sometimes, even deaths), but it also has financial implications – it leads to huge administrative costs, losses, lawsuits, OSHA violations, and hefty fines.
Organizations typically don’t have any resources to spare and allocating existing resources to ensure workplace safety compliance can lead to lower efficiency, productivity, and lost time. Moreover, companies must be well-versed in OSHA rules and regulations, or else, there’s a higher chance of noncompliance and more violations. Here’s where safety professionals come in and help employers.
Workplace safety professionals are qualified individuals who are most commonly seen in industries that have substantial workplace risks and hazards. Their responsibility is to ensure the safety and health of the entire workforce, and they do so by:
- Analyzing the workplace
- Coming up with updated safety policies
- Arranging training sessions for appropriate employees
- Facilitating incident management and reporting
- Ensuring compliance with regulatory agencies like OSHA
- Providing employees with appropriate PPE
- Conducting internal inspections proactively
- Preventing or reducing workplace injuries and illnesses
- Reducing downtime
While these are just some of the responsibilities of safety professionals, they are facing impediments that hamper their work, leading to workplace safety issues. That being said, let’s take a look at some of the more prominent pain points faced by safety professionals.
3 Significant issues faced by safety professionals in the workplace
A culture that doesn’t focus on workplace safety
Usually, the organizations that employ safety professionals are the more modern ones that nurture a culture focusing on safety. However, many organizations are jumping into hiring safety professionals without understanding the full context. As a result, the safety professionals understand down the line that the management team is not on the same page with the employees.
Ensuring compliance just for the sake of avoiding violations will never have good results – organizations need to embrace workplace safety and make it an integral part of their culture. When employees understand that their organization is only taking measures to ensure compliance and not their safety, even robust safety policies won’t help. This is one of the more prominent pain points for safety professionals, and unless the organization adopts a workplace safety culture, there’s no way to mitigate this issue effectively.
This is somewhat related to the previous one, although there might be quite a few exceptions. Organizations that don’t care for their employees, that is, don’t have a healthy workplace culture, usually have employees that do not comply with the safety rules. However, some individuals tend not to follow rules, take shortcuts, risks and create workplace safety issues down the line.
These unruly employees are a huge pain point for many safety professionals, and unless there are penalties involved, the former don’t want to follow the rules, even for their own safety.
Frequency of common workplace injuries
While organizations such as construction firms have more risks or hazards present than others, some injuries can be seen across any given organization. For instance, slips, trips, cuts, falls, and back injuries are common and can be seen in most organizations. These usually occur due to spills, unstable platforms, poor lighting, debris on the floor, etc.
Most of the time, the safety professionals address this by cordoning off the area, telling employees to keep the environment clean, placing warning signs on the floor, and improving the visibility of the area. However, the safety professionals cannot be everywhere at once, and unless there is a quick and easy way to report such cases, it will continue to be a pain point for them.
Fortunately, a robust OSHA recordkeeping software like CloudApper Safety can help with that. It doubles as a workplace safety compliance app that workers can use right from their smartphones, and they can easily report such incidents from their mobile, helping safety professionals deal with them faster than ever! CloudApper Safety helps to reduce the frequency of workplace injuries significantly by providing a training management module, providing data to identify incident hotspots, creating a knowledge base, and more. Use CloudApper Safety now to reduce the administrative burden, enhance workplace safety, and boost the bottom line.