A to Z challenge – O – August 2021

ccupational therapy needs to be avoided as an outcome of a building project. It is very serious if this is an outcome of the project because chances are that someone has either hurt themselves or been hurt by something during the project. Whilst the project manager and the contractor will be formally responsible for the management of Health and Safety on a contract itself, nevertheless there is a need for EVERYONE to take ownership of health and safety during the lifetime of a project, even if you are not working on it. Many work accidents have been followed by someone remarking: “I could see that was going to happen. I am amazed it has not happened before.” This shows that even if you are an observer of building work, you do have something valuable to contribute which those involved cannot see for themselves. Or it may be that someone is taking shortcuts in their work which may harm either themselves or someone else.

The key thing, just as in the story of the Good Samaritan, is not to pass by on the other side and say it has nothing to do with you. You might feel that you are going to get abuse. But the aim in all projects must be that everyone stays safe, that everyone can go home when their work finishes and come back to work the next day, or after the weekend. We do not want anyone to be hurt or worse. We all have a role to play in making sure that people are safe and that occupational therapy is not needed. It will sometimes require courage to say something to a contractor but your care, concern and action may help change working practices and prevent a serious accident.