Workplace safety is preventing injuries and so employers spend many resources to avert injuries from happening in the workplace. Nonetheless, a large number of injuries, at times leading to death happen every day all over the world. A majority of deaths happen to young people or people who are new to the job. One good way of preventing injuries in the workplace is to understand how a new worker feels about the job and to anticipate major causes of injuries for closer supervision.
Workers new to the job experiences two things categorized as follows:
Excitement mixed with anxiety and inadequacy. What complicates this feeling is that the worker does not know anyone in the job. Welcomed, yes, but that does not encourage them to ask questions. The language and the terminologies used that the new worker assumes as common knowledge to everyone makes him feel more inadequate that there is often a decision to keep silent and just “wing it”. Feeling out of place is a common reaction that the new worker will more likely ask the questions for later.
Determination and the desire to create a good impression are also common with new workers. The sad thing is this leads to taking risks when the skill at doing the task is still inadequate. There is little understanding of risks involved causing accidents and injuries. While this reaction is common, it is prevalent in young people and first timers on the job.
Good, well-experienced supervisors recognize this and take the following actions:
Baby sitting ? Not always a pleasant experience for supervisors but to prevent injuries, the supervisor makes sure that the new worker is not assigned tasks that expose the worker to even the smallest of risks. It is a slow process where even behind the eagerness of the new worker to take on more tasks the supervisor assigns simple easy to understand assignments.
A good “walk through” ? Because the new worker has a lot of unasked questions in mind, the supervisor preempts these by answering the questions himself and encourages questions. Going through the safety precautions once more and talking about the training program, if one has already been conducted, is always a good place to start.
Keeping a friendly eye ? Good supervisors are good at keeping a good distance required to provide space for the worker to do the job well while at the same time monitoring work progress and practices.
Validation ? While the job description of the new worker entails some risks like operating machineries, the new worker especially the young are not assigned to tasks that are beyond proven observable capacity and skill. If the plan for the new worker is to eventually assign him the task, the supervisor or someone trusted to do the job well, works closely with the worker until competencies, skill and adherence to safe practices are established.
Ensuring workplace safety is reliant on the ability of the supervisor to recognize the feelings that are happening in the worker and the workers attitude towards the job and the manner at which he does them.