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114 • ROCK products • August 2018 Aggregates Industry Almanac Safety Training a primary reason for employees not stepping up and saying something if hazardous situations or actions are observed. Forty percent of employees in the NIOSH study also indicated they felt impossible production pressures to some degree. One point of interest in these survey results is that, for those workers in their first few months on the job, they are more likely to feel less pressure. However, over time their perceived pressure to produce increases, particularly once they reach six years in their position. In this regard, workers with more experience in their job may be less likely to say something if they feel an increased sense of stress. In addition, data from the survey showed a positive correlation with work- ers' risk-taking behaviors. Specifically, as workers' felt sense of pressure to produce goes up, so does their risk tolerance. In situations such as this, front-line leaders and co-workers must say something if unwanted safety behaviors, caused by not following policies and procedures, occur in the workplace. Specifically, companies need to look at how a "see something, say something or do something" initiative is delivered to their employees. To be successful, they must ensure supervisors and their teams truly understand what it means and know their actions are supported under all types of circumstances. Employees need to know and believe it is not about "snitch- ing" on someone or being a "tattletale" nor is it about blaming or pointing fingers at members of their team. It is about doing the right thing and taking care of one another. We tend to get hurt when we forget to do the little things, overlook some of the hazards associated with the tasks we perform or neglect to do things we know we should do. Helping each other, by pointing these things out, might prevent someone from getting hurt or even worse. Insufficient Leadership As mentioned earlier, employees in annual refresher edu- cation indicated they felt their supervisor would not listen to them if they said something and often lacked leadership. The results of the NIOSH survey show hourly workers have significantly lower perceptions of communication by supervi- sors than salaried workers. A specific item of interest was "My supervisor takes action if I don't follow health or safety rules." Hourly workers scored significantly lower on this item than did salaried workers. So, if hourly workers feel like their supervisor will not take action, why would they step up and say something? Along these same lines, 15 percent hourly workers felt their supervisors did not really encourage com- munication about health and safety. Much case study research indicates that poor leadership can result in accidents or even fatalities as well as poor mental and physical health among employees (European Agency for Safety and Health at Work [EU-OSHA], 2012). Additional occupational safety and health advocates argue the impor- tance of leadership as well. For example, in his article "Becoming A Safety Leader," Tavenner (2007) discussed how successful programs push the responsibility for safety down into the organization and that, as responsibility for safety is pushed down, safety becomes a team effort. Tavenner (2007) stated, "Safety is a team game that takes involvement from everyone. Developing employees into safety leaders and fostering an action-based culture while pushing responsibility for safety down into an organization creates a team based approach that results in superior performance." However, employees cannot take responsibility for safety if they are too scared to say something. Specifically, in the NIOSH survey, 33 percent of hourly workers felt they could not question safety rules or procedures. Leaders, at all levels, will determine whether members of their team perceive they feel safe enough to speak up in their workplace. Supervisors, who believe their only role is to manage people, budgets, projects and meet production demands, will proba - bly be less sensitive to listening to members of their team who might be inclined to point out unsafe conditions or behaviors in the workplace. Having employees who observe something and say something will not occur if leadership is lacking. Consistent Proactivity Based on the research discussed, it seems that leadership is critical if we expect our employees to step up and say some- thing when they see an unsafe behavior or condition. In a 2017 leadership seminar, a quote was offered by Kurt Uhlir: "Leadership comes from influence, and influence can come from anyone, at any level and in any role." Therefore, when circumstances present themselves and someone must step up or take charge, each of us has the potential to become a leader. There are still opportunities that can be seized in the workplace to further develop lead- ers. For example, the NIOSH survey found that 14 percent of employees do not make suggestions to improve health and safety. It can be hypothesized these same employees do not speak up if they see something unsafe at work. Along the same vein, 11 percent of employees do not regularly report health and safety-related incidents, turning an eye to haz- ardous situations. Strong leaders, who strive to develop individuals and teams, will generally have the skills required to foster the openness and security employees need to encourage them to speak up when they see an unsafe condition or behavior in the work- place … weak leaders will not have these skills. Conclusions Developing an understanding of why employees do not speak up, when they see unsafe conditions or behaviors, should encourage companies to develop educational practices aimed at improving employee involvement in workplace safety. Educational sessions, when developed, should focus on providing both front line leaders and employees, with the skills they need to effectively intervene when they observe something that is unsafe in their workplace. Improving

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