Safety First: Laws Governing Safety Essay

Safety First: Laws Governing Safety Essay

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The idea of Safety First is a noble one. It’s often a workplace culture, and both government organizations and corporations alike have adopted it. As a result, vast improvements have been made to manufacturing techniques, product quality, and laws governing safety. For instance, the semiconductor industry is just such an environment. According to the latest statistics from NIOSH, the semi industry ranks 7th lowest in accidents reported, of all industries surveyed. In the semi industry, meetings at every level begin with the lead slide stating “Safety First”, where safety concerns, such as escape routes and local protocol are expressed. In spite of these changes and survey results, the semi industry still experiences industrial accidents which result in injury or loss of life. There must be something missing from the culture of Safety First, otherwise, there should be no accidents. Where is the missing piece to this puzzle? Is it that employees refuse to accept the workplace culture or, possibly, employers are not providing enough training in this area? Dare it be said, that accidents will occur, regardless of training and cultural beliefs? Or is the missing piece of Safety First systemically missing, by oversight and or intentionally, within the culture?
Let’s start with a few of the basics in the semi industry safety culture. Firstly, equipment manufacturers design inherently dangerous systems with built-in safety devices known as engineering controls. These are interlocks that are meant to protect the unsuspecting from the dangers that lay inside. Second, all newcomers to the industry are indoctrinated by loads of videos and web-based training, solely dedicated to instill the cultural belief that safety is first. This training i...


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... than safety. If safety is truly first, then all employers in the semiconductor industry may want to rethink their corporate mantra. The missing piece(s) of the puzzle should include, stress management training, reduction of complacency in the work place, and a better translation of corporate desire for revenue. It is often said by insiders of the semi industry that the three rules are “Safety, Quality, Output, unless the first two rules get in the way of the third.” In order to accomplish Safety First in the semi industry, the idea must become an ideal. Safety first must be practiced by all, not just preached by some.



Works Cited

United States. NASA, Ames Research Center. Stress, Cognition, and Human Performance: A Literature Review and Conceptual Framework. By Mark A. Staal. Moffett Field, CA: NASA STI Program Office, August, 2004. Print.NASA/TM—2004– 212824

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