There are two types of industrial workplaces when it comes to safety. There are those who look at the OSHA guidelines and think to themselves, “good enough.” Then, there are those who look at their employees, their families and the future ahead of them and think, “not good enough” when it comes to their safety. Beyond a legal obligation enforced by OSHA, good employers have a moral obligation to do everything in their power to send their workers home in one piece at the end of a shift. That’s why personal protection required signs matter. They matter because the lives of your employees matter and there is no such thing as “too safe” in the workplace.
Within in any organizational culture, there exists a phenomenon known as “practical drift.” Regardless of what standard operating procedures may require or what new employees are taught during the onboarding process, front line employees tend to have their own way of doing things. Newer employees then take that direction from veterans as they tell them that this is the way we really do things. Before you know it, you’ve practically drifted your way into a very dangerous scenario. That’s why clear messaging matters whether it is an OSHA requirement or not.
Just take these Personal Protection Required Signs for example. Conspicuous and straight to the point, there is no room for employee error or misunderstanding. At no point can an employee look at the “Caution: Hard hats must be worn in this area” sign and come to the conclusion that it is a recommendation. There is only room for blatant insubordination or total compliance. In either case, it gives a supervisor or foreman a very clear path forward as what to do next. So let’s talk about the supervisor.
When one is placed in a leadership role, they might have the newfound ability to delegate tasks to others. However, a leader can never delegate the responsibility. The responsibility for employee safety will always rest with leadership. That being said, a leader can’t be everywhere at once. That’s why we make a sign for just about every scenario when it comes to reminding about personal protection.
Properly posting signage that is clearly marked as caution or danger is a way for the supervisor to provide supervision in more than one place at a time. In fact, you can even post signs like this “Danger: Eye protection required at this machine” that has a picture of a face and eye protection on it in case there was any confusion as to what you mean. Again there is room for total compliance or blatant insubordination, but the nothing in between.
At the end of the day, some front line employees might gripe about safety regulations as they sometimes find them cumbersome and intrusive. As a leader, it shouldn’t matter to you if your employees gripe at the end of the day. It should only matter if they are healthy enough to gripe on their way home to their families. We know what matters most and that’s why we’ve been keeping the great American workforce safe for over 70 years. So don’t forget to check out the rest of what we have to offer in workplace safety and remember, there is no such thing as “too safe” in the workplace.