Safety and OSHA News

Top challenges faced by safety pros now

We asked safety pros what their #1 single biggest safety challenge is right now. Here are the results of Safety News Alert’s exclusive research: 

The No. 1 challenge mentioned by 29% of respondents: rules and regulations, either specific ones or in general. Some individual responses:

  • “Getting the employees to understand the importance of machine guarding and not to put their hands in unsafe places.”
  • “Plant safety related to visitors and local, state and national laws and regs.”
  • “Biggest safety challenge is having our employees follow safety policy.”
  • “Employee safety – following proper procedures when using machinery.”
  • “Determining exactly what OSHA compliance items are specific to our machine shop manufacturing industry. In addition, noise prevention regulations. What has to be done? What is unnecessary?”

The second most mentioned challenge was worker attitudes and safety culture (23% of responses). What some readers said:

  • “Re-training to the safety requirements (‘We’ve always done it this way.’)”
  • “Changing a safety culture that is 30 years behind.”
  • “Employees unsafe behavior is the biggest challenge in my industry since safety was not considered as a priority until 2011. Now since it is a top priority besides production, changing employees’ behavior is No. 1 priority for my industry.”
  • “Safety is #1 at the beginning of a job. As time becomes an issue to finish a job, short cuts tend to take place.”
  • “Finding a behavioral safety program that is sustainable long term and not reliant on outside consultants.”
  • “Apathy and disenchantment with the safety program. A failure in recognizing that personal safety is a group endeavor. A new bunch of employees that think they know it all, and there is nothing else they need to learn … they are bulletproof until they aren’t.”
  • “Changing safety culture and creating safety awareness in a young and at times non-English speaking workforce.”

The next most mentioned challenge was safety training (15%). Among the responses:

  • “Providing appropriate safety training for the multitude of different divisions who all have different responsibilities.”
  • “Taking training from the classroom to the work site.”
  • “Getting everyone trained and consistently using safety practices.”
  • “Keeping staff trained for incidents that may occur.”

Management support and getting supervisors to participate more in safety came in fourth (9%). Some responses:

  • “Some management only considering production numbers.
  • “Consistent management support.”
  • “Getting supervisors to proactively address potential hazards rather than reactively address them.”
  • “Management buying into the initial cost of and maintenance of a safety workplace.”
  • “Getting other staff to ‘buy in’ to safety – including upper management.”

Some other areas that scored below 9% but had multiple responses include:

Which of these responses do you identify with? What’s your No. 1 single biggest safety challenge right now? How have you dealt with some of these challenges? Let us know in the comments.

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