What is complacency and how does it affect work sites?
Complacency can be the most dangerous mindset that results in an injury or accident. When you begin to work on “auto-pilot” mode, and stop paying attention to what you are doing, that can lead to taking short cuts and taking risks.
When working on routine, repetitive tasks, or driving to familiar sites, you can become very comfortable and you go on “auto-pilot." All too often you do not realize how complacent you have become until you have a near miss or close call. Such events tend to jump start hearts and refocus proper attention, at least for a little while, to the importance of tasks at hand. Complacency causes a sense of numbness to hazards.
Complacency can be defined as self-satisfaction, especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies. Complacency is extremely dangerous in the workplace. You get so used to things being done the same way that you do not always look at the hazards in your surroundings. You may also underestimate the risk of tasks that you perform regularly or fail to notice a change in your environment when you become complacent in your daily routines.Most incidents are caused by unsafe acts. Companies and employees work hard to create a safe workplace and eliminate unsafe acts.
How do I know if I'm becoming complacent and how do I avoid it?
Awareness is something that must be a part of each of us. If you are not thinking about what could go wrong every day, all day while you work, you are not completing the task safely. Taking time to listen to your internal safety radar will prevent incidents and will keep you safe. Think ahead as you approach each task and consider the following questions:
What am I working with? What will I be doing? Where will I be going? What could go wrong? Am I a little too comfortable?
What happens if a colleague or I become complacent?
Complacency at work can cause or contribute to critical errors which increase the probability of injury, from not having your eyes or mind on the task, walking into the line of fire, or losing your balance, traction or grip.
Always examine equipment, procedures and the hazards that may exist. You need to focus physically and mentally on your work, no matter how many times you may have done the same job in the past.
The first step to an accident involves the false belief that because of your experience, you cannot have an incident.Accidents can happen to you at any time and your sense should always be finely tuned to each situation and potential risks. A false sense of security is the result of poor training and following bad practices, which leads to accidents.
If you aren’t thinking about what could go wrong every day, all day while you work, you are not completing the task safely. You must examine equipment, procedures, and the hazards that may exist. You need to focus physically and mentally on your work, no matter how many times you have done the same job in the past.
It’s easy to drop your guard when you become complacent. You need to stop to plan for your safety.
Are you following all required procedures? Are you using all safety equipment, and are you using it correctly?
Take action to ensure you haven’t let your guard down. Commit yourself to the safe and proper way of doing the job.
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