Low Barrier Methods to Increase Workplace Safety

For many industries and jobs that need more safety measures, often the employees can be resistant. We heard guys who install 700 ft cell towers refuse to wear safety helmets because “If I fall, I die. Wearing a helmet won’t save me.” Ask them to use a parachute and they don’t want to. Remind them they could fall 10 feet, and get caught by the safety tether and get slung headfirst, upside down, into a cell tower–knocking them out or killing them–and still they aren’t interested. Some men are made for those tough jobs and they want them to stay tough, come what may.

However, not everyone wants to make jobs as dangerous as possible, and we have crowd sourced a few hacks, some obvious, some unique, that have some real appeal.

Unlock Phones. This certainly doesn’t have to be a must, and I doubt it even can, but rather just an understanding: while you are on the job, your phone is unlocked or otherwise people have the code to get in. This is helpful to get in touch with your people should something happen, offers bystanders a way to use your phone to help you in the event no on else is around, etc. There is a small chance that someone will steal it or find it on the job and punish you for it, but in dangerous and remote environments, the safety is worth the security breach.

Whistles. Buy some whistles. We recommend the ones that don’t have a pea, as that is just one more thing to go wrong. They are cheap. Put them on your person. Alert people when you need help.

Mobile Medical Alerts. There are tons of different types of medical alert pendants and devices, too many to name, and these are mainly created for seniors to help them when they have fallen and can’t get up. However, there is a chassis here that is getting help to a specific location (the pendant or some kind of beacon) with the push of a button. Depending on where you are working, in remote areas of wilderness or the like, you might need an emergency signal that only requires one action: a button push. You don’t need to fire off a text or enter a thumb print or talk to anyone on the CB. These come in wristband alerts, pendants, watches, and tons of other options.

Safety Glasses. I know you’ve heard this one before, but hear me out. For your team, get into why they won’t wear them. If it’s style, I got news for you: there’s tons of safety sunglasses out there and they don’t look half bad. Plus, they are cheap. Obviously, OSHA requires them in many spots, but often legacy of the vibe of the company can override this, even if the boss gets fined (likely because they boss hates it, too). If it’s not style, there is no shortage of scary videos of what happens to people who don’t use eye safety. Continue with this line. Continue with losing vision and losing an eye. It is a forever thing in most cases.

Masks. Dumb as it sounds to you even feels even dumber having to write it. Masks work to stop the spread of COVID-19. This has been proven in tons of ways, I’m sure you’ve heard them all before. If one of your employees has it and everyone isn’t masked up, depending on your work environment, everyone is likely to get it. Then nobody can work. We are in a weird space right now where there could be lawsuits when forced to wear them (and wear them properly, and lawsuits for not wearing them and getting sued. Time will tell. For today, you have to enforce this. Do it nicely. When people are on company property, they will be wearing a mask, same as the bosses. If anyone says this is personal freedom, they are also free to leave if they don’t want to follow the rules, same as almost any building where you have to wear shoes and a shirt.