“Attributes of Injury Free Workers”

Recently David L. Walline, CSP, of Owens Corning Corporation, Toledo, Ohio, wrote an article titled, “What Injury-Free Workers Can Teach Us”.

Within that article he highlighted 10 Key Attributes of Injury-Free Workers.

He noted that as his injury-free network grew, some uncommon attributes came to the surface associated with many of the personalities of injury-free workers.

He pointed out that not every injury-free worker displayed all 10 Attributes. Non-the-less these were the characteristics that came through on a consistent basis.

This is a summary of those 10 Key Attributes.

  1. Take Working Career Seriously – Injury-free workers take their working career very seriously. Their work is very important to them. Work is an important part of their overall life.

They possess a strong work ethic. They take personal pride and ownership in the work that they perform. Their injury free work benefits them and their family too.

  1. 100% Responsibility – Injury-free workers take full responsibility for their personal safety, both on and off the job. They believe in personal ownership of their safety.

Injury-free workers do not abdicate their safety or wellbeing to anyone but themselves. They also believe in being their brothers-keeper.

Looking out for their fellow employees (especially the inexperienced folks) was something they take seriously as well. They do not give up their personal safety to anyone.

  1. Plan For A Safe Outcome – Injury-free workers plan for a safe outcome. They take the time to plan for the job to be performed safely.

They never got in a hurry even when pressured to do so by others. Several indicated that they “worked smart”.

They establish a mind-set that nothing they do at work is worth getting injured over. They think ahead and anticipate before acting.

  1. Hazard Control Managers – Injury-free worker constantly focus on workplace hazards.

They believe they must always have a general sense of their surroundings and respect for it.

They acknowledge that work should be inherently considered dangerous and one must always on guard for hazards and potential unsafe actions of others.

They spend time each day cleaning up their work area and also periodically talk job safety with other workers.

  1. Neat & Orderly Appearance – Injury-free workers have a very neat and orderly appearance and mind-set. They pride themselves on a clean and neat work area.

Their tools, work areas, storage lockers and clothing appear neat and orderly. If they saw something out of order, most would straighten it up.

They feel passionate about housekeeping and maintained a professional appearance.

  1. Avoid Complacency – Injury-free workers avoid complacency. They do not take things for granted.

They try to make every day exciting and different to help keep them alert and non-complacent.

They view accidents as something that causes everyone to loose- themselves, their families, and their co-workers.

  1. Practice Safety Rules & Procedures – Injury-free workers value and abide by well-established safety rules and procedures.

Many wore personal protective equipment above what was the company minimum requirement.

They viewed practicing sound safety rules and work procedures each day as “a prescription” to an injury free career.

  1. Positive Attitude & Outlook – Injury-free workers have a positive attitude and outlook which extends to both on and off the job.

They view safety as a positive influence on their life in that it would permit them to return home safe and sound at the end of each workday.

  1. Applied Safety Knowledge – Injury-free workers believe that safety training is important, and should be taken seriously. They apply it to their jobs.

They all stressed that safety programs should be easily understood and fairly simple to implement.

They believed that safety training should be provided initially and then on a periodic basis and kept interesting and new. Several cautioned not letting safety training get stale.

They viewed participating in on-going safety training as a pre-requisite to an injury-free career.

  1. Safety As A Value – Injury-free workers have a central theme of safety in their life. Safety is not 8 to 5. It is clear that safety is a value in their life.

They practice it both on and off the job. It was evident these people could not be easily swayed to take short cuts or compromise safety.

In fact, they would often coach other workers. They would push back if necessary if pressured to perform something unsafely.

They periodically talk safety with co-workers and others.

Injury-free workers usually were not attention getters. They are often workers who elect to perform their daily work without much fan-fare.

Call To Action – You might want to seek out and talk with some of your career injury-free workers within your organization.

You might find similar feedback to your questions, or perhaps some different characteristics or patterns of behaviour that works for them.

The key attributes and lessons learned from the injury-free workers just might help you and your co-workers to continue to work injury-free too!

They all have stories to tell if we would just take the time to ask them.

“Don’t let your learning lead to knowledge; let your learning lead to action” — Jim Rohn

Thanks for the share, TO!