One of the key components in conducting a job hazard analysis (JHA) is the involvement of workers in the process. Yet recent studies reveal that sometimes young workers and construction workers fail to report hazards or injuries to their supervisors.
Age and Inexperience
In the National Safety Council’s Journal of Safety Research published last June 2013, it was found that young workers may not speak up to their immediate supervisors about work hazards due to a sense of powerlessness. Workers in this age group admitted that they had less influence in the workplace due to their age and inexperience. However, these workers also revealed that if there was coworker support, they would be able to speak up especially if their supervisor was approachable.
Too Small an Injury
On the other side of the spectrum, construction workers had a different thought process in failing to report work-related injuries. The most popular among these is that the worker thought that the “injury was too small” and didn’t feel the need to report same. Other mostly used reasons were:
– Used home treatment
– Not sure if the treatment was work-related
– Thought pain is part of the job
– Couldn’t afford time off without pay to go see a doctor
– Fearing the loss of the job
Although the participants in the survey did not specify their kind of injury to determine if they were indeed small, this no way undermines the risk of minor injuries turning into something more severe.
The solution to this predicament lies in the supervisors, particularly in their act of speaking with their subordinates on safety practices. A positive climate where open communication is practised should help in the management of injuries and hazards in the workplace.
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