Complacency is one of the biggest problems we face when completing day-to-day tasks…even in construction.
Webster’s Dictionary defines complacency as “self-satisfaction, especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies.” This state of mind can affect many things such as productivity, quality of work and safety. In fact, when it comes to safety, complacency can be a literal “killer” on the job. It’s easy to underestimate the risks of tasks we perform regularly, or fail to notice a change in our environment when we become complacent. When you work in “auto-pilot mode” and stop paying attention to what you are doing, it can lead to taking short cuts and risks.
Think ahead as you approach each task; even if you do the task every day. Each time you approach the task consider:
- What you are working with,
- What you will be doing,
- Where you will be going, and
- What could go wrong.
The message here is “never let your guard down.”
- Follow established protocols and procedures.
- Attend daily safety meetings and discuss changes and potential hazards that could develop on your worksite.
- Wear the appropriate PPE for the task you are performing.
- Review a JSA before starting a task.
- Stop and think about the safety aspect of the task you are about to start.
- Maintain good housekeeping and organization.
- Take note of other workers or equipment coming into your area.
- Report any and all perceived or potential hazards on the worksite.
- Report all near misses then discuss them. This will help you identify trends, correct current problems and prevent future incidents and injuries.
- Coach and mentor each other. Watch out for each other.
All of these actions require conscious effort. It’s impossible to be complacent when you’re putting these things into action.
So remember to stay focused. Plan ahead. Follow protocols and procedures and watch out for one another no matter how often you’ve done the same task. Each of us is responsible for the safety of our worksite. Don’t let yourself or your co-workers down.