That was said to me by a person who was once a safety inspector. No matter how carefully the rules are crafted, they won’t always be followed. Sometimes it is the company, sometimes it is the workers, but safety rules are often ignored.
There are two types of safety rules:
1. Rules for the safety of the people who follow them.
2. Rules for the safety of others.
For financial reasons, companies have to follow both. The first type is designed to prevent lawsuits from workers and the second type is designed to prevent lawsuits from everyone else.
They are also designed to prevent injuries and deaths, but that may or may not be the motivation for having the rules.