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Learning from our differences

A quick Tweet this week took this blogger’s mind back to her days in Newcastle Upon Tyne England. Ah, the freezing cold days of winter mingled with jarring and smelly commutes on the Metro. A few fingers felt like they might chip off by the time I arrived at the university where I worked. So, frankly, my co-worker’s space heater next to her desk was heavenly after the morning commute.

Until the Health and Safety Committee took it away.

Now this experience isn’t meant to deride or condemn the safety officer. Rather to the contrary. It illustrates a marked difference between the United States and the United Kingdom when it comes to workplace safety: this university had the most active safety committee of any workplace I have ever been in.

The space heater was taken away because it hadn’t been checked and approved by an official electrician for fire safety.  It’s untimely removal was sad, but not the end of our world. The rickity radiators functioned just fine most days in that old university.

Might the space heater have caught on fire? Probably not. But they weren’t about to take any chances either.

This week, InjuryFree had a great, if not brief Twitter conversation with Hilda Palmer of Manchester, UK. Palmer is the co-ordinator for G. M. Hazards Centre, Chair of the National Hazards Campaign and facilitator for Families Against Corporate Killers.

Do we think much about the culture we have built up around workplace safety in the United States? The very words we use can speak volumes about our approach.

InjuryFree believes it is about time to rock the very foundation of our approach to workplace safety. Our entire corporate philosophy is built on the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The Employee Maintenance Centers are the centerpiece of that plan and that shift. But we can only achieve results with your help.

Let’s change the paradigm in workplace safety. Let’s stay InjuryFree in the first place.

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  1. […] Why? Cooking is the leading cause of winter home fires. Plus, holiday decorations, chimney fires, space heaters, electrical wiring, smoking, and candles. Alternative sources of power such as kerosene and […]

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