I recently had a discussion about safety in the company where I work. The phrase “it’s becoming a really big issue” came up, as it does with most discussions on the topic. Is it really becoming a big issue? I would argue that it’s always been a big issue, we’ve just never taken it seriously.
I think the problem is that “accidents” only happen a small percentage of the time. That creates a kind of blindness to the indicators which only increases the likelihood of another “accident”.
The solution is really only one of two things. Either we wait for accidents to start happening more often/seriously or we intentionally look for potential problems before they happen. Both of those scenarios will increase our focus on safety. One costs less.
What can you do?
Homeowners/customers: Ask about company safety policies and understand that there is a cost associated with safe work practices (once again, the cheapest contractor may not be the best choice).
Contractors/owners: Take a look at the two solutions above. Which are you? Default position is “wait for more accidents”. Scary place to be. The responsibility to change that rests squarely on your shoulders.