Explain what causes unsafe acts in the workplace.  Provide three examples.

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Michael Ugulini eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Three causes of unsafe acts in the workplace are:

1. Lack of Knowledge of Health & Safety Protocols

2. Deliberate Avoidance of Following Posted Protocols

3. Cost-Cutting Measures that Lead to Breaking of Health & Safety Protocols

  1. An example pertaining to the first point concerns employees not knowing the Health & Safety regulations of their state or province, and additionally not knowing the Health & Safety regulations of the company or organization they work for; therefore, a lack of communication concerning these regulations leads to unsafe acts in the workplace. For example, an employee may not know that eye wash stations must be readily available at certain areas in a warehouse environment. Therefore, when dealing with substances, they may not access those stations when some chemical or otherwise gets in their eyes. This leads to physical distress and greater injury than if they would have known about and sought treatment immediately.
  2. An example pertaining to the second point concerns employees who know the posted protocols developed by the company, but who choose to ignore these regulations because they feel they know better. In addition, they may feel these regulations slow down or hamper their work performance; therefore, they may choose to ignore the rules so they can "get on " with their work without any constraints upon them.
  3. An example pertaining to the third point concerns employers who may directly or indirectly make it known that "getting the job done fast' is preferable to slowing down production because of Health & Safety regulations. It may be more costly and time-consuming to implement safety protocols. A company may seek to sidestep those rules so they can maintain production at a lower cost. However, in the end, oftentimes these perceived cost savings by circumventing Health & Safety regulations do manifest themselves in greater cost for the company through lost-time and penalties imposed on the company by state or provincial authorities.

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