When we think about workplace safety, we think about how it is constantly evolving. During the Industrial Revolution, we saw the rise of factories, manufacturing equipment, and unfortunately new hazards. Proper ventilation, a standard number of work hours, and emergency response plans were not considered by employers. After many workers were unnecessarily injured and killed, there was an urgent need for safety standards and protocols. Over time, safety guidelines became necessities, employees felt appreciated, and the outcome has been better productivity. Through these past valuable lessons, CrisisGo has been able to develop important, life-saving solutions for the workplace to this day.
Let’s look back on 5 events that led to today’s high standard of workplace safety.
Massachusetts Factory Act Massachusetts was the first state to respond to unsafe working conditions by approving the nation’s first safety and health legislation in 1877. Using similar British laws as a guide, the legislation put in place measures such as building inspections, proper ventilation and cleanliness, fire escapes, and doors that opened outwardly. Eventually, other states followed these plans as more people made safety a priority.
Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire On March 25, 1911, 146 garment workers were killed in the the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in NYC. Most of the workers were young, immigrant women. This disaster was a critical event in the history of the U.S. labor movement. There was only one fire escape, which collapsed during the relief efforts. Fire department ladders were not tall enough to reach the top floors. Many stairwells and exits had been locked to prevent workers from taking breaks and to stop theft. Businesses knew they should never choose profit over people again.
Occupational Safety and Health Act In 1970, the Occupational Safety and Health Act was passed, which authorized the enforcement of safety standards in the workplace. This act created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which sets and enforces standards and provides training, outreach, education and assistance to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for workers. We have recently seen OSHA continuously updating workplace safety guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
World Wide Web Goes Public Being able to communicate during emergencies is a crucial part of every safety plan. Connectivity exploded when the World Wide Web went public in the early 1990’s. With the ability for people to communicate from different locations around the world and to securely store information digitally, possibilities for safety exponentially expanded. For example, businesses can easily keep track of employee information without a paper trail and they can also communicate with partners and customers from around the world through e-mails and video conferencing.
The COVID-19 Pandemic If we want to look for positive outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic, we can find them in regard to better safety awareness. As employees struggled with social isolation during lockdowns and then return-to-work anxiety, employers have taken mental health more seriously. Some have offered hybrid work schedules or mental health services to their employees. There is a larger focus on using digital tools for the collection of employee health and safety data.
Over the years, we have seen the face of workplace safety changing before our eyes. CrisisGo has been the leader in safety solutions, constantly evolving with current trends and learning from past mistakes. There are countless events that have led to CrisisGo being who we are today. We think of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory tragedy and how we now have the possibility of a digital safety platform such as CrisisGo Essentials combined with our wireless panic button system, Safety OneClick, to save lives and to stop injuries. CrisisGo knows the value of first responders and that they are a critical piece to a business’s safety plan before an emergency happens. We pride ourselves in our ability to digitize workplace data and have been an integral part of helping businesses through the pandemic with our Safety iPass health solution and through the ensuing mental health crisis with Safety Intervention Manager. We have learned from the past and vow to continue to provide the most up-to-date safety solutions to your business to create a safer future together.