Most folks under 40 have heard of “netiquette”.  That is the behavior for those online, using social networking, etc.  For example, be nice, show respect, even to those with whom you may disagree.  No name-calling.   Well, I can hear you asking what does online etiquette have to do with safety.  Glad you asked.

The workplace often involves working with others.  Some times its crewmates, other times its other employer crews.  What I call “safetyiquette” comes into play where you might see an unsafe condition involving another employer’s crewman and you feel you should make a comment.  Well good for you.  You saw something unsafe and out of concern, wish to take a moment of your time to point it out.  But there are rules.

Safetyiquette Rule #1: Don’t’ use all your tact at once pointing out the unsafe condition. Rather than make an insulting remark, how about simply pointing out the unsafe condition.  “Bob, did you notice that your PPE personal fall arrest harness lanyard is not connected to an anchor point?”

What if someone approaches you and points out what he/she thinks is a safety concern.   Thank them for pointing out the unsafe condition.  No snide remarks.   That is Safetyiquette Rule #2

Safetyiquette Rule #3, what if a person brings to your attention an unsafe condition but that person is incorrect?  Thank that person anyway and explain why their observation does not apply.  No snarkiness. (I think that’s a word.)

Safetyiquette Rule #4, sharing safety observations based on your experience, makes the workplace safer for all.  There have been times I simply missed a workplace hazard even though I’m a safety guy.  When someone pointed out the hazard, I thanked them.  That is Safetyiquette Rule #4