A Friend in Need | Co-worker Safety

Employees are often the first people to see the safety issues in the workplace. When a co-worker is working unsafely, there are many reasons why employees who witness the unsafe actions may not speak up.

Common reasons people do not get involved are: feeling uncomfortable; not wanting negative attention from the co-worker or management; or thinking it won’t make any difference.

Despite reluctance to act, below are a few compelling reasons to speak up the next time you see a co-worker working unsafely.

  • Working with someone who acts unsafely greatly increases your chances of being injured as a result of their actions.
  • Remember that nobody is perfect. Even the safest workers can get distracted and make mistakes. Just one unsafe moment can devastate someone’s entire life.
  • Don’t wait until there’s an accident! Avoid the guilt of knowing you should’ve spoken up but didn’t.
  • You can convey your message in non-confrontational way (see tips below). Regardless of how the message is received by the recipient, you’ll know you’ve done the right thing.
  • First, ask your co-worker if you can share your safety concerns with them.
  • Next, work with your co-worker to find safer alternatives.
  • Continue to provide encouragement and check back to ensure they are working safely.
  • By increasing your safety awareness, you’ll be more conscious of the unsafe work practices of others as well as yourself. Awareness is the first step to make necessary changes.

Workplace safety and health is a team effort and everyone’s responsibility. Help keep yourself and your co-workers safe by being alert and getting actively involved when you notice a potential problem.

Date Posted: 01-03-2016
Tags: co-worker safety, osha safety topics, osha workplace safety, workplace safety topics,
Categories: OSHA Safety,