At a very young age we were taught the buddy system for safety. By grade school most people had learned that there is strength in numbers. It makes sense then that people tend to carry this mindset into the work force with them.
In many ways, the buddy system is a great practice to maintain when there are risks involved. Whether it’s walking home after dark or working with the public, having someone you trust nearby can help keep you safe. Unfortunately, this can also lead to an over reliance on the buddy system when people are creating emergency response procedures. Here are some of the common pitfalls that people fall into when they rely too heavily on the buddy system in the workplace.
A (False) Sense of Security
One of the most commonly cited reasons that people favor the buddy system when working is that it gives them a sense of security. For people at high risk, this can create a perception of safety that does not really match the reality. Many of the same dangers that exist when an individual is working alone still exist with another person present. In these situations, if both workers are unable to call for help, the result could be a delayed emergency response or even no response at all.
Two Can Be as Bad as One
Although dangers that affect both workers in a buddy system may appear rare on the surface, they appear less so when you delve deeper into the situations that workers often find themselves in. Any time that workers travel in a vehicle together, they share the risk of an accident. Any time that workers are in a confined space together, they share the risk of poor air quality and other hazards. As these kind of situations can’t always be avoided, taking them into account when creating your safety policies is a must.
The Hidden Cost
Safety concerns aside, the buddy system can also be incredibly inefficient. Under the buddy system, two workers are necessary to complete a job that might only need one. In addition to a higher cost of labor, relying on employees to work in pairs also requires additional coordination and administration. If one of the workers in a pair is unable to work, measures may need to be taken in order to proceed as scheduled. If the buddy system is your safety net, what policies are in place when there isn’t a buddy?
If you rely on the buddy system to keep yourself or others safe, it might be time to rethink your safety procedures. By automating your safety monitoring using an award winning safety solution from Blackridge Solutions, you can have an even greater sense of security knowing that you won’t need to rely on workers being able to call for help.
To find out more on the latest work alone safety technology, contact Blackridge Solutions at: (778) 686-5799 or email us by clicking HERE.
Choosing The Right Safety Solution