Workplace Safety: Training employees to see what is right in front of them.
The first goal of ensuring workplace safety is to raise awareness of a problem in the first place.
Why would we need to do that?
It’s simple. We know from studies about workplace safety performed in Canada, the United States and Europe, that incidents of workplace violence are incredibly under-reported.
Partly this is due to the fact that workplace violence has become “part of the job” for many employees. They’re told by supervisors and managers, ‘this is the way things have been, and therefore it’s the way things will be.’ Employees will either say nothing and leave, or say nothing and stay. If they stay, the lack of workplace safety becomes an accepted part of the work environment.
However, the under-reporting of workplace violence is largely due to the fact that employees don’t recognize workplace violence when it occurs. They’re busy doing their jobs day in and day out and are not focused on identifying the different sorts of behaviour their customers, clients, or co-workers are displaying, even though some of that behaviour is clearly inappropriate and probably illegal.
Awareness of the problem is the first order of business for all employers wanting to improve workplace safety.
It is the same anytime your attention is deliberately drawn to something specific to be on the lookout for. For instance, if I tell you that you need to watch out for Red Ford Mustangs, you’ll see them everywhere, whereas prior to that point, Red Ford Mustangs would have driving by and you wouldn’t have noticed them at all.
Raising awareness of the issue of Workplace Safety and Preventing Workplace Violence is Job 1.