You work hard to create a safe workplace for your workers. However, if you examine your accident records for the past few years, you’ll probably find that unsafe acts, rather than unsafe conditions, caused most of these mishaps.
Complacency on the job can injure and kill — and it spreads like a disease from one worker to another. One employee sees a co-worker taking a shortcut and figures, “If they can do it, why can’t I?” You can’t afford to let complacency take over in your workplace!
Unless your employees keep thinking about what could go wrong every day, all day, while they work, they’re not going to be completely safe. Train them to think ahead as they approach each task and consider:
- What they’re working with.
- What they’ll be doing.
- What could go wrong.
Encourage employees to examine the substances, equipment, procedures, and situations on their job for possible hazards. Remind them that to be safe, they need to focus on their work, physically and mentally, no matter how many times they might have done the same job. Stress that accidents occur in the blink of an eye — all it takes is a single second of inattention, or a moment of carelessness.
Use safety meetings and other training opportunities to get across the message that complacency can be just as dangerous as any other workplace hazard. Use a strong commitment to training and awareness to create a safety culture that replaces complacency with an emphasis on alertness, planning, hazard identification, problem solving, and accident prevention.