Unsafe acts cause four times as many accidents and injuries as unsafe conditions. Accidents occur for many reasons, and in most industries people tend to look for "things" to blame when an accident happens, instead of considering worker behavior. Have you been guilty of any of the behaviors listed below? You may not have been injured, but next time you may not be so lucky.
Every day we make decisions we hope will make the job faster and more efficient, but do time savers ever risk your own safety, or that of other workers? Shortcuts that reduce your safety on the job are not shortcuts. They are increased chance for injury.
Confidence is a good thing. Overconfidence is too much of a good thing. "It'll never happen to me" is an attitude that can lead to improper procedures, tools, or methods in your work. Safe work relies on a system, and disregarding that system by thinking it doesn't apply to you can lead to an injury.
Starting a Task with Incomplete Instructions:
To do the job the safe way (and the right way) you need complete information. Have you ever seen a worker sent to do a job with only part of the job's instructions? Don't be shy about asking for explanations about work procedures and safety protocol. Remember the only dumb question is the one you didn't ask.
Housekeeping is an accurate indicator of everyone's attitude about quality, production, and safety. Poor housekeeping creates hazards of all types. A well maintained area sets a standard for others to follow. Good housekeeping involved both diligence and time management.
Ignoring Safety Procedures:
Failing to observe safety procedures can endanger you and your workers. You are being paid to follow the company safety policies. Not to make your own rules. Being "casual" about safety can lead to a casualty!
Mental Distractions from Work:
Having a bad day at home and worrying about it at work is a hazardous combination. Dropping your "mental" guard can pull your focus away from safe work procedures. You can also be distracted when you're busy working and a friend comes by to talk while you are trying to work. Don't become a statistic because you took your eyes off the task "just for a second."
Failure to Pre-Plan the Work:
There is a lot of talk today about Job Safety Analysis (JSAs), Risk Exposure Assessment, general Work permits, LOTO Procedures, etc. All of these are effective tools to figure out the smartest ways to work safely and effectively. Being hasty in starting a task or not thinking through the process can put you in harm's way. Plan your work and then work your plan!
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