The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health mandates that your employer must protect you and your co-workers from harm. As a part of that responsibility, your employer must provide a workplace free of known hazards and provide adequate safety training to enable you to identify potential hazards and know how to mitigate the risks. Moreover, supervisors must monitor workers to prevent unsafe acts and recognize the need for follow-up training or refresher sessions to remind workers of the risks they face. Safety authorities estimate that eight out of every 10 workplace injuries result from unsafe acts. Regardless of how much or how little effort your employer puts into employee safety, you could benefit from taking your own precautions to avoid work-related injuries.
Typical unsafe acts in the workplace
Although there may be an endless list of reasons why workers do unsafe acts, none of them are valid. The following actions and behaviors in your workplace can have devastating consequences:
- Violating or disregarding rules: Any workplace has rules and procedures to follow — mostly put in place for good reasons. Ignoring them is an excellent example of doing unsafe acts.
- Shortcuts: Taking shortcuts is one of the most common and dangerous unsafe acts. Sometimes, unrealistic time pressures cause workers to take safety shortcuts, but lack of supervision and laziness are also reasons.
- Poor attitude: Poor attitude or low morale may cause some workers to violate safety and risk the lives of other workers.
- Complacency: Many workplace accidents result from complacency when workers have done the same jobs for years without suffering injuries. They come to believe that their experience is enough to keep them safe, even if they disregard safety standards.
- Overconfidence: This is similar to complacency, as it also comes with experience. However, inexperience can also cause overconfidence.
Many other reasons exist for unsafe acts in the workplace, and even if you recognize the dangers and manage to avoid unsafe acts, you might fall victim to a co-worker’s complacency, overconfidence, poor attitude or violations of rules. Safety training, warning signs and other safety measures cannot guarantee your safety.
Fortunately, the California workers’ compensation will have your back. It is a no-fault system that will cover your medical expenses and lost wages, regardless of who was at fault. Many injured workers in California choose to seek the support and guidance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, and if you do the same, your chances to receive maximum compensation will increase.