Workplace safety is crucial for everyone, and both employers and employees share the responsibility of maintaining a safe environment. But is safety primarily a matter of common sense, or does it need to be taught?

Some argue that basic safety measures, like avoiding hazards and using protective gear, are intuitive. For example, common sense tells us not to walk in front of a moving forklift. However, just as our parents teach us to cross the road safely, many safety practices must be learned.

Relying solely on common sense has its limits. New or complex situations can catch anyone off guard, and what seems obvious to one person might not be to another. For instance, navigating a construction site or handling hazardous materials requires specific knowledge that goes beyond basic intuition.

This is where formal training becomes essential. Workshops, courses, and continuous professional development equip employees with the skills and knowledge to handle hazards and emergencies. Training helps workers make informed decisions, identify potential risks, and take proactive steps to prevent accidents.

Leadership and organisational culture also play significant roles in shaping safety attitudes. A proactive leader fosters a safety-conscious workforce by consistently reinforcing policies, actively engaging with employees, and maintaining open communication. Conversely, a disinterested leader can create a negligent work environment.

Combining common sense with formal training creates a robust safety culture. Employees who receive regular training are better prepared to handle complex situations and new challenges. This balanced approach not only enhances individual safety skills but also promotes a collective commitment to safety within the organisation.

Workplace safety requires both common sense and learned behaviour. By blending intuitive practices with comprehensive training, businesses can create a safer work environment where employees are equipped to identify, assess, and address safety risks proactively. This holistic approach ensures that safety becomes second nature, benefiting everyone involved and ultimately supporting the overall success of the business.

The fundamental reason we have minimum standards at ES Steel Solutions is to ensure that our teams can keep themselves safe and others around them. But that doesn’t mean we have to stop there, does it?

Effective and comprehensive training is a must for us and our teams, we prefer our teams to have much more knowledge and expertise than they may ever need to use.

It’s fairly easy really, you can’t report a hazard if you don’t know what one is in a given circumstance.

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