Many organizations across the globe have held safety meetings at the end of 2020 to reignite the passion for injury prevention in their workplaces. Some are having or are going to have meetings for this purpose in the coming months of 2021. The goal is to keep awareness high and everyone motivated to follow procedures, wear the proper personal protective equipment and take action to mitigate hazards that reduce the risk of incidents. The best reason for sparking a fire of awareness is so that Nobody Gets Hurtt.
As a pilot who sometimes flies home from a speaking engagement at night, I keep awareness high by planning stops along the way about every two-hours. In addition, while I am flying along I am not only watching my instruments to check the health of the engine but also continually looking for a place to land. In fact, during the flight when I am within gliding distance of a passing airport I scan my engine instruments to make sure I don’t have a reason to land. I really don’t start off thinking that I am going to have a problem but I am continually aware of the risk if something does happen.
Preparation and continued mitigation is the key to keeping complacency from creeping in and ruining my flight home. Keeping safety awareness high is a challenge for any organization and it should begin with the individual. In high-risk environments that we work or play in it is easy to let complacency creep into our operation unless we take personal responsibility.
Even a family on a driving vacation is likely to have an incident on the highway after the first hour or so into the trip and should guard against complacency. On the job we start off with a safety brief that identifies the results that we would experience if we don’t follow procedures or wear our personal protective equipment. Awareness is high at first but as the trip or job wears on without anything occurring to heighten awareness complacency sneaks in and becomes the insidious hazard.
To keep complacency from creeping in during a trip or job we should stop on a schedule to reset our safety clock and keep awareness high. Resetting awareness can be as simple as stopping to get gas or stopping your work and stepping back to look around. Ask yourself if your current awareness is still at a level that it should be, or are you really not thinking about what could happen.
This week light a fire for awareness with a spark of safety by reducing complacency by asking yourself, “What’s the worse incident that could happen and how can I reduce the risk of it occurring. Then take the steps to mitigate and you will find yourself in a situation where it is difficult to get hurt.
Carl Potter has been working with companies since 1992 to help them prevent workplace injuries. He has spoken to thousands of people and written thousands of articles on the subject of improving safety performance.