Modern work culture is fairly simple: Time is money. Companies want to accomplish as much as possible in as short of a time as possible. They push their employees to do the same. Productivity is valued, sometimes, over everything else. This can include key things like quality and safety.
This is particularly problematic in the construction industry, which is already dangerous. Workers will often feel pressured to take risks, or they’ll be directly instructed to do so, all in the name of getting the job done a little bit faster.
For instance, workers may:
- Use the wrong equipment for a job simply because the right equipment, though it was on the job site, wasn’t right next to them.
- Use equipment in an unsafe manner. For instance, instead of getting down and moving a ladder over, the worker may opt to lean dangerously to the side.
- Use equipment that is worn out for too long. For instance, using dull drill bits and saw blades to save the time it would take to change them.
- Skip out on safety equipment, like fall protection gear or safety goggles, because the task at hand should only take a few seconds.
- Drive too quickly in company vehicles. This could include job site vehicles like forklifts or company cars and trucks.
- Cut corners because doing the job the right way would take longer. For instance, an electrical worker who doesn’t have a knockout bushing may run a wire through a box without the bushing to save time.
These are just a few examples, but they show how dangerous the company culture can be. Workers who get injured on the job need to know all of their legal rights, especially when told to work in an unsafe manner or when injured by other workers who chose to do so.
Source: The Safety Doctor, “Rushing Can Hurt,” Dr. Isabel Perry, accessed Feb. 16, 2018