SAFETY PROGRAM PROMOTION
This chapter deals with promoting your safety
program and helping your workers develop a positive
attitude toward safety. Sometimes people call this a
safety philosophy. It is an essential part of any
successful safety program.
Some safety supervisors believe that by providing
safety training, they are promoting safety. While
safety training is a vital element, training alone cannot
change unsafe attitudes or promote safe workman-
ship. The advertising world calls promotional efforts
marketing. A command must market its safety
program and sell safety to the worker.
We often hear safety described as the use of
common sense. That is, safety should be obvious
anyone should be able to see a missing safety guard and
realize it is a hazard. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
Safety is learned and experienced.
From a young age, other people warn us about
dangerous situations and how to identify potential
hazards. Without that training, you might receive injury
from such hazards. If not seriously injured, you surely
will learn from the experience.
You can easily recognize some safety hazards.
However, hazards involving toxic chemicals and
exposures may not be obvious. Some occupational
illnesses, such as asbestos exposure, do not show
symptoms for 10 to 35 years. You need to be trained to
recognize these hazards.
Just as we cannot rely on common sense to prevent
mishaps, we cannot assume that everyone has a good
attitude toward safety. The following are some attitudes
that can contribute to mishaps:
The fatalist The people who have this attitude
are sure that when their time is up, nothing can
be done about it.
The risk-taker People who have this attitude
feel certain risks are just part of the job and too
often take unacceptable risks.
The immortal Young sailors and workers
usually have this attitude. They feel immortal and
cannot imagine that it could happen to them.
The accident-prone People who have this
attitude seem to have a greater number of
mishaps than their coworkers or shipmates.
The attitude of the safety supervisor, safety
manager, or safety petty officer can help mold the
attitude of the workers. Supervisors must constantly
seek to develop good attitudes in their people. Train your
people in safe workmanship and try to convince them
the command is sincerely interested in safety. Enforce
all safety regulations to emphasize that the command
expects safety to be a standard operating procedure.
Risk taking is an inevitable part of our daily lives.
Whether driving to work or getting under way, we face
certain risks. However, we face different levels of risks.
Some risks are considered acceptable or unavoidable.
For example, we may have little choice but to drive to
work, but we can reduce the hazard by using safety belts.
An unacceptable risk would be to drive a motorcycle to
work at a high speed without wearing a helmet.
Good risk taking can actually be considered a
precaution against mishaps. In good risk taking, the
person is trained to recognize the level of risk and
choose whether the risk is worthwhile. A calculated risk
based on the possible consequences of a hazard is safer
than a haphazard risk based on poor judgment or
ignorance. A lack of risk is not necessarily safer. A lack
of risk sometimes means a person isnt aware of the
Minimizing risks is a vital element of mishap
prevention. You may be aware that a machine part is
badly worn, so running that machine involves a risk.
Mishap prevention occurs when you reduce that risk by
taking interim or permanent corrective action.
We can access the risk of any hazard. This assess-
ment is based on the severity of that hazard should a
mishap occur and on the probability that it will occur.