When we think of the holidays, we imagine time off from work, good food, and quality time with friends and family. Unfortunately, while the holiday season is all those things, it’s also one of the busiest times for emergency rooms, fire departments, and emergency services.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that there are about 240 injuries per day in the United States during the November to December holiday season, and it’s not hard to see why. People fall from ladders while putting up lights, their Christmas tree catches on fire, they cut their hands while slicing turkey, or they get burned while lighting fireworks.
The list of holiday season hazards is long. Still, anyone that works for an organization with a strong safety culture probably knows how to protect themselves from the threats listed above. However, will they take their safety skills home with them?
Why safety at home matters for companies
In most hazardous industries, a significant amount of time and resources are spent each day training for and discussing workplace safety with employees. However, there is a common phenomenon of well-educated workers not applying the same safety diligence at home as they do at work.
While an employee injury sustained at home may not make its way onto a company’s injury records, it can still harm business. Employee turnover, the cost of replacement, lost productivity, and overall employee morale can all be affected.
Therefore, avoiding injuries at work and home is in everyone’s best interest. Companies must focus on the importance of taking safety skills home, and making a significant push during this hazardous time of year for home injuries is a great start.
Unfortunately, many workers don’t take safety home with them. One of the biggest reasons for this may be how employees and companies approach safety as a whole.
Safety is a skill, not a habit
Many organizations and their employees view safety as a habit, something they do every day because that’s what they are used to. As a result, things like lacing up their safety toe boots and putting on a high visibility vest, hard hat, and safety glasses before walking onto the shop floor have become mindless tasks. Unfortunately, as the environment and risks change, the habits remain the same and may not offer the same level of protection.
In contrast, approaching safety as a skill means that workers can apply their safety knowledge to any environment, situation, or risk that presents itself. By teaching safety as a skill, you create safer, more adaptable employees who can stay safe no matter the environment. This skill is essential because as industries, risks, and regulations change rapidly, you need a workforce that can change with it.
Workers must understand and apply safety the same way skilled workers understand and use their craft to get their desired results. For example, if a welder with strong safety skills that need to handle pieces of metal with sharp edges would understand that cut-resistant gloves are the best way to protect themselves.
If that same worker uses an angle grinder, they would realize that eye and face protection is the best way to protect themselves from flying debris. An employee with solid safety skills doesn’t need to be told precisely how to protect themselves in every situation, just like a skilled welder doesn’t need to be told how to complete every cut or weld to get the desired result.
Habits are mindless things we do without thinking, but safety should never be mindless; it must be deliberate. That’s because there is never a one size fits all solution because the risks are too unique when it comes to safety. Employees with solid safety skills can recognize hazards and apply their knowledge to protect themselves without being told.
For example, approaching fall protection out of habit might result in employees picking the wrong fall protection components for the risk. Fall protection selection requires deeper understanding and skill, and choosing the wrong gear or anchor points may result in equipment failure and employees being seriously injured or killed.
How Anvl can help
Getting workers to take safety home for the holidays isn’t a question of pointing out the risks or sending flyers to their homes. Instead, achieving that goal starts at work every day by teaching safety as a skill, not just a habit that workers must comply with.
Connected Worker Software from Anvl can help you reach that goal by digitizing and gamifying traditional processes like inspections and audits. For example, if a worker identifies a situation where a loud environment is likely, Anvl can trigger safety questions about hearing protection. In addition, you can gamify the process by having workers complete a set number of weekly tasks on their phones.
As a result, employees are more active and engaged in the safety process and are more likely to internalize safety, which benefits lives at work and home. These come together to help employees develop their safety skills, not just force them to comply with rules.
Anvl also helps organizations analyze their data and pinpoint gaps in their current training and coaching, allowing them to invest where it matters most. This focused approach to safety means employees receive better, well-rounded safety skills that they can apply wherever they go.
Anvl creates intelligent digital workflows that help companies detect issues early, enhance communication, and identify improvements. Our flexible application supports quality, safety, and operations – all in one place. If you would like to learn more about how Anvl’s connecter worker software solutions can help your employees learn to be safer at work and home, check out the Anvl demo library.
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