Echoing some of our previous chapters, so much depends on reliable, consistent communications when it comes to anticipating, identifying and managing risk before it leads to employee illness or injury. A top-notch safety culture is one where both leaders and workers understand the behaviors and conditions that improve safety outcomes, and feel empowered to proactively create a safer future. As a safety leader (also known as “anyone in a position to influence safety on the behalf of another”), it should be your goal to communicate these strong messages. The alternative — missing out on this opportunity to communicate the right messages — still sends a message, but it winds up being the wrong one.
safety leader: anyone in a position to influence safety on the behalf of another person. this means everyone.
When incidents do occur, how organizations respond matters greatly. The investigations must be thorough, but not be conducted with the bias and assumption that the issue is due to employee error. In today’s environment, where COVID-19 is such a highly contagious event, the response and processes between joint-employers must include uniform adherence to CDC and OSHA guidelines, along with quick communications around quarantining, and careful evaluation of each at-risk exposure and mitigating controls like enhanced cleaning, sanitation or isolation practices. Once again, we find ourselves recognizing the critical importance and value of a collaborative partnership between the host employer and the staffing agency. Post-incident response should include at least a precursory review of the classification of the hazard and prioritization of risk controls as it relates to those hazards (think: hierarchy of controls).