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The Modern Method to Risk Reduction in the Workplace

One of the most demanding issues to manage and maintain in the workplace is safety. Every work environment is faced with its own set of hazards regardless of how benign an environment seems. For any given workplace, the list of hazards can run a mile long. While most work-related risks can be lumped into four main categories—physical, ergonomic, chemical, and biological—there is always room for the unpredictable to arise. To reduce these risks, it is important to identify, assess, and monitor those risks that are associated with each workplace. This responsibility falls primarily on the employer. He or she carries the moral and legal responsibility of ensuring the employees’ safety. Not only are they held liable for implementing rules and regulations, they are also tasked with designing and conducting regular safety trainings.

Of course, most employers already know that taking shortcuts and using inappropriate tools to complete a job are red flags in the world of safety.

Basic methods and procedures for risk reduction have been in play since the dawn of civilization. Employers assess and reduce risks by observing past incidents. Have you ever noticed a silly warning label posted in a restroom stall advising against standing on the toilet seat or maybe the one on a washing machine that prohibits placing people inside? Although we may think these labels are in place to gain a few laughs, they are typically posted to prevent an accident that has already occurred. What if there was a way to bypass learning from accidents and instead learn of the potential risks before they even occur? The Safety Quotient (SQ™) allows employers to be proactive rather than reactive. The SQ™ screens employees to predict possible risks associated with an employee's hardwired behavior.

The assessment then provides employers with a risk report and methods to avoid potential risks from occurring. With the assistance of the SQ™, employers can tailor training to reduce accidents of high-risk employees.

Employers have previously prevented work-related risks by recognizing the physical patterns leading up to an accident, but the SQ™ precedes our rudimentary pattern recognition by distinguishing the innate behavioral patterns tied to the physical patterns that lead to accidents. It evaluates an employee based on six personality traits correlated with safety: resistance, irritability, distractibility, impulsiveness, anxiousness, and thrill-seeking. By measuring these six traits, it can gauge particular risks associated with the employee. The SQ™ is designed to be simple for both the employer and employee, and it is modifiable to suit the company’s needs. It only takes 10-15 minutes for the employee to complete, and it provides the employer with two concise reports of its findings. The first report offers strategies to help enhance the employee’s safety self-awareness, and the second offers ways to manage preventable risks through training. The SQ™ gives employers the luxury of bypassing the task of recognizing the physical patterns leading to an accident and moving straight into a proactive phase.

Human life is irreplaceable and the loss of an individual is intolerable. Sending employees home safely to their families should be an employer’s utmost priority. Agencies using SQ™ have reported a reduction in over 25% of their workplace risks. By reducing safety risks, employers are also providing employees with comfortable and low-stress working conditions. When all moving parts are functioning in healthy conditions, productivity increases exponentially. Every employee deserves to work in an environment without the constant fear of a hazard occurring. It is the employer’s responsibility to create this environment, and the modern method to risk reduction can help take some of the weight off employers’ backs.

As a special offer to SHRM Members, we are offing a no cost trial of the Safety Quotient. Call 800.434.2630 and use discount code, SHRMSAFE. Or email and put SHRMSAFE in the subject line.

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