Saf-T-Gard Blog


Workplace Safety is a Team Sport

  • Sep 25, 2023, 12:33 PM
  • by Mechanix Wear

Question: What do baseball, hockey, football, volleyball, and even NASCAR have in common?

Answer: they’re all team sports. 

All consist of individuals who are expected to perform to the best of their ability. All require team members to know their duties and responsibilities and contribute to a greater unit with a single goal.

Safety is no different. Safety is a team function–a team sport–that requires contributions from both the individual all the way to the organization and beyond. Safety must be integrated into all parts of the mission. There must be a safety culture.

Let’s review the different levels of safety and how each layer contributes to the success and health of the group.

Personal Safety

Chicago Protective Apparel Mechanix Wear® S2EC-06/7 SPEEDKNIT™ Coated-Knit Work GlovesEach person is expected to be able to carry their own weight. This is as true on the playing field as it is in the workplace. Not only does each person have to do their own task independently; but they have to be able to look out for themselves as well, and to take reasonable steps to ensure their own safety. 

This means being aware of their surroundings, knowing the task and the associated hazards, wearing the appropriate PPE, and not putting themselves in harm’s way.

Each person working safely also contributes to the overall quality of the product or service, to meeting production and service goals, and to improving customer satisfaction.

Team Safety

An injury never affects only one person. If someone gets hurt, it impacts the rest of the group. Yes, only one person might actually be injured, but the rest of the team is going to have to carry the slack if they can’t work anymore. The reverse is true, too. If a worker makes a mistake, they might end up hurting someone else instead of just themselves.

Each person has a duty to help others work safely. This means communicating with each other. It means pointing out hazards. It means being ready to jump in and assist when necessary. And yes, it means keeping others accountable if they’re not being safe.

Company Safety

Workplace Safety Application ImageTeam leads, supervisors, department managers, and executive management all have a role in promoting and supporting safe practices and conditions. If the company has multiple locations, it’s common for safety managers to communicate with others in the same role within the company to get ideas and share best practices. That way, other locations can benefit from one another’s safety successes.

It’s in the company’s best interest to prioritize worker safety. Think of safety as an investment. An uncorrected hazard can contribute to equipment damage, production stoppage, alter team efficiency, and tank morale. Not to mention affect the company’s bottom line!

Industry Safety

It’s sad to admit, but there are companies that either deliberately ignore safety requirements, have different standards for what constitutes “safe,” or are just plain ignorant. 

That’s one of the reasons why we have independent safety organizations and industry associations; to help ensure that all member companies are aware of all possible hazards in the workplace and take the appropriate steps to ensure that employees are safe and protected. 

This comes in the form of rules, guidelines, and acceptable best practices. Companies are made aware of these through industry publications, association meetings, and information sessions. 

Non-trade associations and support groups, such as ISO and OSHA’s VPP program, are also actively involved in helping employers follow safe practices and openly share ideas and solutions, even if they come from another industry. 

The employer’s insurance contacts–liability, workers’ compensation, and other players–also contribute to best practices and conditions to keep the team safe.

Vendor/Supplier Safety Contributions

Workplace Safety Application Image 2Even vendors and suppliers have a duty of care when it comes to workplace safety. Machinery manufacturers ensure the systems they provide function properly and safely. Control system vendors certify their products as safe and malfunction-free. Tool suppliers ensure that their products won’t break and accidentally hurt someone.

PPE manufacturers are the ones who should take the most care out of all the vendors in this relationship. While there are and should be other safety measures in place, PPE is the last line of defense in keeping workers whole. When a machine malfunctions, when a tool breaks, or when an employee makes a mistake, it’s the PPE that will ensure they walk away unharmed. 

PPE distributors and manufacturers also support the safety team with their expertise and knowledge of the types of PPE available. They design innovative ways to make PPE work better, fit better, and be more comfortable for employees. They help employers with unique or specific hazards that may call for a unique type of protection. They can bring expertise and assistance in helping an employer develop safe procedures and select the proper PPE for hazard exposures.

How Does Mechanix Wear Help?

Mechanix Wear is a PPE manufacturer that is ready and willing to help employers keep their teams safe. Mechanix Wear recently introduced its TRACK program, which offers numerous benefits and should be on every employer’s active checklist as a resource for improving safety within its facilities.

The TRACK program includes:

  • Assistance with hazard risk assessments within your facility
  • Recommendations of PPE that addresses and is compatible with identified hazards
  • PPE trials that engage front-line employees to find solutions specific to the recommendations
  • Ongoing support to ensure your safety success
  • Improved compliance and employee comfort with the proper PPE
  • Enhanced employee engagement and participation in safety solutions
  • Improved control over PPE budget as only the right, tested PPE is identified for purchase
  • Improved buy-in and use of the PPE by your employees

Your PPE risk assessment is required by OSHA and other regulatory agencies to ensure that as an employer, you have identified and have corrective actions in place that ensure a workplace free of recognized hazards. 

This assessment is not a one-and-done, but must be reviewed at least annually and updated whenever new equipment is introduced, procedures change, or newly assigned employees must be trained on the hazards associated with their tasks.

Remember: maintaining a safe workplace and protecting employees is everyone’s responsibility! It’s a game that everybody can win, provided we all contribute. 

When it comes to safety, we’re all MVPs.

Connect with Saf-T-Gard to Learn More

Industrial safety is our legacy going back 9 decades. Contact us today to learn more about Mechanix Wear’s TRACK program. For an overview of our Mechanix Wear and Chicago Protective Apparel products, and to order for immediate shipment, please visit Mechanix Wear.

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