Almost all operations inside factories and workplaces involve material handling and pose hazardous threats to everyone involved. That is why it is mandatory to perform safety operations and follow protocols for eliminating the risk associated with these processes. This can only be facilitated effectively when a smooth working understanding is established between the employers and supervisors. The management has to make the right decisions, which must hence be implemented acutely throughout all levels. Only then can safety programs achieve success on the factory floor and save lives and equipment nonetheless.
What happens in reality?
The reality of most factories and workplaces is rather dismal. Managers and employees seldom see eye-to-eye with each other. Sometimes, both sides might have a different understanding of safety and hence view the programs differently. The responsibility lies at both ends, and somehow it falters either at one end or both. This creates a severe disconnect between the workers and their managers and affects the entire workplace’s decision-making. As a result, safety programs are rendered worthless, and their desired effect is nowhere to be seen. Let us look a bit deeper and understand what causes such a disconnect and how it can be dealt with.
The management’s stance
The managerial department’s perspectives towards safety practices in the workplace would certainly differ from that of the workers. They tend to have multiple constraints such as budget and availability, which might not seem like significant issues from the employee’s point of view but technically. Many safety measures that the workers might suggest would appear to be cumbersome, unnecessary, or expensive to the management. Employee safety is addressed through multiple safety regulations, which have to be implemented appropriately through constant effort. Management sometimes views safety regulations as a liability rather than an investment.
Moreover, managers also feel that the safety procedures implemented aren’t always fully utilized by the employees and end up a total waste for the organization. To some extent, this aspect holds as all the efforts and money put forth by the management in implementing new safety protocols wouldn’t matter unless the workers utilize them to the tee. When the management feels like their resources are being wasted, their approach towards implementing safety protocols further will cease to be proactive.
The employee’s viewpoint
Every safety measure or protocol is originally intended to protect employees and workers involved in potentially fatal operations in dangerous machinery. This is because the safety protocols directly impact the jobs of such employees, and hence the worker approaches these safety standards scenarios very differently than the management.
There can be a difference in attitude between the employees and workers themselves. In some cases, workers who are used to working in a specific way might feel that some of the safety arrangements might hinder smooth operations. Hence they might resist the management when they start making changes in their safety program without giving any thoughts about the practical impact on their daily tasks. Alternatively, a group of employees might have their inputs for safety measures being implemented in their workplace. They might vouch for these safety requirements to be included in their daily operations. The management might feel otherwise and face certain roadblocks regarding these specific amendments and hence could either delay or reject them. The employees would then feel that their management doesn’t pay heed to their concerns and do not care about their well-being in the workplace.
How can this be dealt with?
All this disconnect would result in effective implementation of safety protocols, which would create potential hazards in the workplace. These elements of disconnect must be dealt with efficiently, so the safety programs are rendered effective.
Let us start with the aspects that are easier to control. Issues such as procedures, office policies, recordkeeping of incidents, etc. are relatively easier to handle. Hence these should be tended to primarily and ensured that both the management and the employees share no disregard concerning these. The harder aspects such as behavioural skills, knowledge base, attitude towards safety, and humane elements would need delicate handling. In such cases, the management must provide the safest resources such as equipment, tools, and facilities so that the work becomes easier.
Both parties, as in the employees and managers, must have shared expectations when it comes to the safety programs being implemented. The objectives must be discussed beforehand, and the effectiveness agreed upon at both ends. The commitment towards ensuring safety at the workplace would work as the foundation of the mutual understanding between both parties and facilitate proactive engagement from the workers as well as their managers.
The commitment to workplace safety is paramount, and that must be understood by everyone associated with workplace operations. Safety training is hence inevitable to ensure the proper functioning of the procedures without causing any potential danger to equipment and personnel. LOADMATE insists that proper work environments that can facilitate workplace safety must be encouraged at all costs so that the shared safety goals can be understood and worked upon by everyone associated.