We all know a “Joe.” Although this accident-free sign made even me laugh, so-called “safety” competitions based on accident-free streaks do not.
Not only do they intimidate workers from reporting legitimate injuries and other conditions whose effect might be minimized by prompt medical treatment, they encourage co-workers to harass and belittle their injured colleagues in an effort to keep the streak going.
It’s not as if the injury didn’t happen, or that the employer is doing anything to prevent injuries or enhance safety. All it does, at best, is (at little if any cost to the employer) offload the cost of medical care to insurance, to the injured employee, or, in the case of some underpaid employees, to taxpayers through Medicaid payments, or other patients through increased prices.
Being proud of a safe workplace is a worthwhile and beneficial goal. Calling an unsafe workplace safe only covers up a potentially bigger and more serious problem waiting to happen.