In present-day society, employers are legally required by OSHA regulations to provide a safe and risk-free environment for their employees. In particular, workers in health care face a wide range of hazards and risks on the job.
Employers can always do more to stay in compliance and prevent workforce injuries, despite modern misconceptions that can make work environments less safe. Let’s take a closer look at the most common misconceptions about workplace safety.
Accidents Happen: Workplace Injuries Are Inevitable
The record needs to be set straight about workforce harm in healthcare. While accidents can happen, that does not mean employers should believe in the inevitability of harm or injury. This myth is damaging for healthcare workers. If patient harm is controllable, so is employee harm.
While employers cannot eliminate all safety risks completely, every injury is preventable by controlling possible hazards with the right procedures, protocols, and training. This is why consistent safety training and observation are key to dealing with potential workplace hazards. Proactivity can ensure a hazard-free environment.
The Blame Game: It’s Only the Individual’s Fault
Placing sole blame on the individual who happened to obtain an injury is another of the most common misconceptions about workplace safety. Many factors can contribute to a workplace injury, but the core reason is usually deeper. If a person doesn’t follow protocol, use the right equipment, or lacks training, then the issue is deeply systemic.
Consider what happened comprehensively, more than only individually. Was the protocol impractical or hard to follow? Was the right equipment located in a different location? Was the employee in a hurry? Was the unit understaffed? If injuries are solely assumed to be at the fault of an accident-prone or absent-minded staff member, then management cannot make systems changes or create better safety solutions for everyone.
Education: Employees Don’t Need Continual Safety Training
The worst tidbits have been said and heard many times: “Health and safety are plain common sense.” This assumption is not only incorrect, but also reckless. Employers should never simply assume what their staff knows or does not know. What’s obvious or common sense to one person could not be to another. Any work environment requires specialized skills of an employee, which is why the best safety practices must be taught and reiterated.
Common sense only goes so far. The overall function of safety training is to give employees workplace knowledge and provide an enhanced solution to safety education. Here at Gamma Compliance Solutions, our OSHA compliance services are designed to meet the needs of healthcare providers in the medical, dental, and veterinary fields. From comprehensive OSHA manuals to online self-guided safety training, we have the solutions for your needs. Browse our various packages today.