We hear this from many clients and their employees when we start to work with them and we agree it would go a long way to keeping people safe and healthy. Unfortunately what becomes clearly evident very quickly is that people often fail to apply much in the way of this “common sense”.
Take for an example a workshop we visited this week where employees were working with a range of engineering machinery. On entry there was a mandatory sign indicating that safety glasses should be worn in the workshop, however apart from us no one was wearing any. Added to this was the fact that most of the machine guards were not being used as they were designed to be. When challenged employees failed to recognise the risks until we pointed out the implications of such actions. Now is this a lack of common sense or a failure on managements part to educate and enforce? When it goes wrong I am sure we all know what the injured party is going to claim.
Maybe this was a lack of education and awareness but how can people driving whilst holding onto a phone claim this to be the case. I personally drive many miles on business and get frustrated at the risks some drivers take; the trouble appears is that they just don`t recognise them or do they?
We often use this as a discussion topic when delivering health & safety training and most would admit to knowing the risks involved. It seems that key to why they still do it is down to either ” it won`t happen to me” or because they don`t think they will get caught out.
Clearly if a business is going to protect its employees and itself then maybe they need to take a hard look at whether relying on common sense is enough. We suggest that a good level of training and enforcement of critical controls will be needed before relying on “common sense”.