WORKING AS DIRECTED WILL HELP KEEP YOU PROTECTED
Can you name at least three reasons why people take shortcuts?
Procedures are written so that work is consistently performed in a manner that ensures safety, quality, and productivity. These objectives are important to our success, yet procedures aren’t always followed. Why is that?
Here are some ways that we rationalize not following a procedure.
- Supervisors and coworkers don’t enforce the procedure (so it must be “optional”)
- I’m too rushed right now to follow the procedure (it will only bog me down)
- We never needed the procedure before (so what’s the real benefit in following it?)
- I know an easier way to get the job done (and with less “hassle”)
- I’ve never seen anyone get hurt doing it this way.
We get a false sense of security because most of the time there isn’t a negative consequence. The job may even get done with fewer hassles.
But are these consequences always the outcome? Many procedures were written after an injury or even a death. We must not forget this. How will your family feel if you are suddenly absent from their lives? How will you feel if your coworker is hurt or killed and you could have done something to prevent it? These are very real possibilities and we cannot lose sight of them.
Consider this: As safety leaders, we must look out for ourselves and each other every minute of every day. We owe it to our families and those who have been injured or killed. Let’s learn from what happened to them and follow the procedures that have been developed as a result. It really is a matter of life and death.
Is taking a shortcut really worth risking losing things that are most important to you?