Workplace Safety and The Human Factor

Workplace Safety and the Human Factor

Many things are needed to keep a workplace safe and your costs down. You can train employees, policies can be put in place, you can hold monthly safety meetings, but an often forgotten variable is what is being called the “human factor”. Human factors refer to environmental factors, job factors and characteristics that influence employee behavior at work and the affect that has on safety.

According to a study conducted by BLR and SafeStart, 80% of those surveyed said that their biggest injury challenges involve human errors. How are these employees getting injured? The top reasons include slips, trips, falls and not following procedures. Another interesting statistic from the same survey says that when asked how often workers take shortcuts, 55% said “occasionally.”

There are different types of human factors. General errors such as mistakes can be made when an employee genuinely forgets to follow a safety procedure. Mistakes are made when the employee believes that they are doing the right thing when they are not. Violations are intentional errors or mistakes that come from employees taking shortcuts or skipping steps to save time or from a general noncompliance. The human factor is just that, human error. Managing these errors is key to maintaining an effective safety program and keeping employees safe and healthy.

The best way to combat the human factor is through a strong safety program that includes employee engagement and hands-on training. A good safety management program includes a risk management assessment that takes your employee’s human nature into consideration when looking at risks in your workplace. Our team takes the time to help develop and manage a safety program and suggest improvements for keeping your program effective. Contact us for a review of your current safety program.

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