Fix hazards, don’t just blame workers

posted by
April 28, 2011
Our Future Blog
by Leo Gerard  
Posted in Commentary, PND Commentary

"Every day on his way to and from work at Clearwater, John Bergen III drove past a billboard in the company parking lot sporting a picture of a king cobra and the explanation that it represented the company’s behavior-based safety program: Changing Our Behavior Reduces Accidents (COBRA). Bergen, a devoted father, a gifted artist and a conscientious worker who urged everyone to observe safety rules, died last summer after inadvertently stepping through a gaping opening in the floor of the Clearwater Paper mill. Behavior-based workplace safety programs like COBRA are attempts by corporations to shirk responsibility to eliminate hazards by blaming workers instead." (04/28/11)  
  • Bergen proves clearly that EVERYONE is ultimately responsible for their own health and safety. Workers, as well as managers and owners, must accept that responsibility and watch where they're going. It isn't a matter of "blame," but of responsibility. If a company has a safety hazard, the employees have as much vested interest in getting it "fixed" as the owners. And if it isn't fixed, they have the choice to find another job. Waiting for someone else to keep you safe is a good way to get hurt. Or dead.

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