Do you have safety on your mind? You might think that you do. No one wants to get injured or cause an accident in the workplace. No one wants to intentionally harm themselves or others. However, if safety is not always the first thing on your mind, you could be an accident waiting to happen.
As humans, we have a natural born “radar” that can warn us of things that pose a threat to our safety. This radar helps us react when things do not seem right. For example, you might duck or jump out of the way when something flies towards you, or press the breaks of your car when someone cuts you off in traffic. However, someone who is not paying attention to their radar, or believes bad things could never happen to them, may not react to an unsafe situation as quickly. This is called complacency. And it is very dangerous.
In order to keep safety a priority, workers must first concentrate on staying alert. As mentioned before, your mind is your most important safety “radar.” The catch- your brain already knows that you don’t always need to be thinking about what you’re doing in order to do many things without getting hurt. Setting your mind autopilot happens to everyone from time to time. It doesn’t make you a bad person – just someone who may be at risk of causing an accident.
Complacency can be changed if you make a conscious effort to change it. Even the little things matter when it comes to keeping safety a priority; things like scanning the room for possible hazards before entering, testing a foothold before applying all of your weight, remembering to use safe lifting practices when carrying heavy objects, or looking twice before pulling out into a busy highway with your vehicle.
Some other ways to curb complacency is to work with your employer and other coworkers to develop meaningful safety messages that remind you to make safety your first priority. Sharing the same mission of safety and working as a team to eliminate workplace complacency makes safety everyone’s responsibility. It encourages everyone to observe the area around them for potential hazards and correct poor performance that might cause an accident. Working as a team also allows you to share work and change up the routine so that you are forced to focus on different tasks throughout the day. This can prevent your brain from switching to autopilot doing a task you have always done.
Individuals and teams of workers should strive to develop ways to combat the dangers of complacency. Awareness is something that must be a part of each of us. Not taking time to listen to your internal safety radar you could be the last mistake you ever make.
To learn more about safety programs that help companies reduce workplace complacency, contact the Safety Pros.