As Canada’s National Day of Mourning approaches on April 28, it is undoubtedly a somber day. The loss of life while working is shocking and maddening and leaves us all wondering, "Was that worth it?"
For anyone who has been affected by a loved one or friend being taken too soon, there is genuinely a sense of loss that can be very hard to reconcile.
It seems unimaginable that somebody could lose their life at work in today's day and age. Yet here we are, where there are multiple lives lost every day due to workplace incidents. The reality is, this number hasn't moved since the early '90s.
While safety is paramount to an organization's productivity, it is surprising to see the number of companies that still think safety is a burden on their ability to perform work. This mindset trickles down to the workers where they no longer feel psychologically safe to refuse unsafe work. They have been led to believe that they don't have the power to say no if they don't feel safe, or worse, they feel as though they would be viewed as weak if they worry about safety over getting the job done.
The mentality that normalizes risk is the battle we need to take on from the front lines. If you are a worker, you should know your rights when it comes to refuse unsafe work. A company can't let you go if you don't know how or can't complete a task safely with the equipment provided.
The fact that there needs to be a day of mourning should be very unsettling. Loss of life at work is not normal, and we as a society should not accept it.
While the loss of life at work is viewed as the worst-case scenario, we often gloss over crippling incidents that occur regularly. While they don't end in a fatality, these incidents have life-long damaging effects on the individuals and the community where they live. Back injuries, broken bones, torn ligaments, severed limbs are all examples of injuries that last longer than the days away from work. They can stay with a person for the rest of their lives, placing an added layer of complexity onto every decision they make from the time of the injury into the future.
While we mourn the loss of so many who have been taken from us too early, let's also question our workplace practices to make sure they do all they can to provide a safe work environment, not just safe from fatality but also unneeded injuries.
Using Technology for Safety
Technology has the power to transform how companies approach safety in the workplace. Gone are the days of excessive paperwork and searching through file cabinets for forms. Safety management software solutions provide an effective way to collect and track safety data that help increase the safety of your workplace.
But what does “going digital” really mean for workplace safety? It’s a lot more than using a computer to help you with your filing system. Going digital means implementing a safety management software system that not only provides a storage place for your data but also gives you powerful and effective safety insights.
Ask any safety professional and they will tell you the main problem is usually overwhelming frustration with paperwork and time management. Many safety managers struggle to make a real impact because their days are spent putting out fires that could have been avoided in the first place. This problem is impossible to solve using traditional paperwork unless you’re willing to spend thousands of dollars to send a team to each active job site in your organization.
Along with this, the second most common problem is improving safety culture. Safety managers want their workers to actively participate in safety. Many organizations struggle to make this happen because field-level workers tend to view safety paperwork as just a liability waiver instead of a method to protect themselves and their co-workers.
The correct software solution fulfills both of these problems - It would get rid of the mounds of paperwork and encourage safety engagement among field workers. You can discover precisely how safety gets performed within your workforce and create a plan to correct non-compliant behavior promptly.
Imagine having the ability to confidently plan out your safety initiatives that ensure your workers go home the same way they came in! At SafetyTek, our priority is to help you do exactly that.
So while we remember those who have lost their lives, or suffered an injury on the job, let us also look to the future and establish safety processes and practices in the workplace that prevent further injuries and deaths.