I just ran across this great article about the Broken Window Theory in regards to workplace safety.
This is my favorite quote from the article:
“Workplace safety is full of clichés such as ‘the standard you walk past is the standard you accept’, ‘never walk past a hazard’, ‘lead by example’. Weaknesses and anomalies in these can always be identified but in many workplaces these clichés show a fresh approach to safety. This, in itself, is depressing as OHS laws have existed in most countries for over a generation now and safety is still not a normal part of work for many of us.”
The Broken Windows Theory is that if there is a neighborhood with one broken window that doesn’t get fixed, people will think nobody cares about the neighborhood and will break more and more windows. On the flip side, if the window is fixed right away, the other windows will stay in good shape.
As the other article talks about, this theory applies to ladder safety and workplace safety too. It is everyone’s job to help keep each other safe. If you see people being unsafe, let them know. If you see something unsafe at work, correct it to make it safe or tell someone who can fix it.
Like windows in a neighborhood, when people see another team member do something unsafe without being corrected, they are more likely to do the unsafe thing too, especially if it is faster and easier.
Let’s make a commitment to be safer and to help others be safer too and help the Broken Windows Theory to work in our favor for a safer work environment.