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Everybody Factors Into Workplace Safety

EP Editorial Staff | July 20, 2022

Successful safety programs have, at their foundation, a culture that consistently expects and supports proper practices.

By Sean Silvey, Fluke Corp.

Workplace safety is something everyone agrees is important, yet there can be significant differences in the perception of how adequate safety measures are and the optimum amount of emphasis they are given in an organization. According to a recent electrical-safety survey, conducted by Fluke Corp., sentiment that workers are most responsible for safety has remained the same over the past three years. However, there is a feeling among many of the respondents that organizations can be doing a better job of creating a safe work environment. Despite 98% of respondents agreeing (strongly agree/agree) that a strong culture of safety is important to keep workers safe, only 37% agree that most companies have one.

“I think safety is something companies focus on but miss the small details. Relying on good trustworthy tools can help improve safety but training and proper PPE will further solidify the basics and put the worker at most responsibility for their safety as well as others,” said a respondent from Pennsylvania.

A robust culture of safety is vital for organizations who truly want to keep their workers safe, yet many workers find the emphasis is not always adequate to do the job. Nearly all respondents (95%) believe more can be done to make their workplaces safer and 56% of workers have ideas on how to make the industry safer.

“Gaining buy-in for a safety culture has proven to be the most challenging piece, but at the same time it is the most important part,” said a respondent from Minnesota.

While electrical professionals believe in the importance of workplace safety, there are times when practicality beats good intentions. Of those surveyed, 78% believe that electricians sometimes skip using the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) because it is inconvenient. Or, as one electrician from Texas stated, he wished PPE glove manufacturers would, “make electrical gloves that are better fitted. I’ve seen electricians get frustrated with gloves and just take them off to do work.”

Training and staying up to date on electrical safety standards are also perceived as important to improve safety, with 68% stating they regularly participate in training or classes and nearly 73% saying they stay current with changes to electrical standards. In addition, 72% look to their tools and innovative technologies to increase safety.

While workplace safety is obviously something everyone agrees is very important, there can be significant differences in the perception of how adequate safety measures are in an organization, not to mention the amount of emphasis they’re given. The bottom line is everyone in an organization plays a vital role in ensuring workers have a safe environment in which to work, that everyone follows safe processes, and workers have adequate tools and technology to safely do their jobs. EP

Sean Silvey is a product application specialist at Fluke Corp., Everett, WA (fluke.com). Prior to joining Fluke, he was a residential/commercial HVAC technician and, most recently, a field service manager. His focus is on application awareness and product education.

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