An Editor Digs a Little Deeper Into Workplace Safety

By David Wylie, Senior Technical Writer

By David Wylie, Senior Technical Writer

Marketing-types love clichés. They lure us with promises of synergistic partnerships and turnkey solutions that produce win-win results. Too often, they leave us scratching our heads and looking for the “value proposition” in their pitches.

I admit that I’m guilty of generic statements when it comes to workplace safety. I dig just enough to scratch the surface of a topic, and then I give you bite-sized information I hope you can start using immediately in your business.

In case you’ve never read my posts, here’s sample of my offerings: Safety starts with management commitment, but employee involvement drives continuous improvement. And let’s not forget that workplace safety programs contribute to increased productivity, lower workers’ comp costs and improved employee morale.

The fact that I have traditionally written about safety at a high level was actually okay. After all, I’m a writer, not a safety professional. That changed recently.

After 13 years in Texas Mutual’s corporate communications department, I accepted a new challenge. I am now the senior technical writer for our safety services team. With the new title came, at least in my mind, new expectations.

One of the first things I did to prepare for my new job was read a white paper, “Injury and Illness Prevention Programs,” written by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The thought of reading a white paper scared me a little. They’re typically long documents loaded with jargon and hundreds of references to other studies on the topic. But this white paper is a manageable 18 pages, and the language is easy enough for a layman to get their head around. For a mere 30-minute investment, I came away with a handful of key points I want to share with you:

  • Management commitment drives workplace safety.
  • Employee involvement is critical to the safety program’s long-term success.
  • Workplace safety programs reduce employers’ operating costs, increase productivity and improve employee morale.

It seems the core concepts of workplace safety are timeless. Any company in any industry can use them to make safety a permanent part of their company culture. It’s comforting to know that while the experts at OSHA know much more than I’ll ever know about safety, they chose to share this handful of basics in a white paper.

So as senior technical writer, I will continue promoting the building blocks of a solid safety program and the benefits of preventing accidents. But I will also provide insight on specific safety issues relevant to Texas industries. In short, I will dig just a little deeper.

This OSHA video features employers explaining the benefits of adopting an injury and illness prevention program (I2P2).

About the author
David Wylie is the senior technical writer at Texas Mutual Insurance Company. He works closely with Texas Mutual’s safety professionals to teach employers and their employees how to prevent workplace accidents and their associated costs. David holds the OSHA 10-hour general safety certification and a degree in journalism from Southwest Texas State University.


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