Don’t Let Distractions Impair Your Reactions
What are some distractions in the work area?
Ask a group of employees what distracts them, and you will likely hear about external distractions, such as co-worker or cell phones, and mental distractions such as family issues and work pressures.
We’ve all been distracted during the work day. It’s not always a bad thing, except when we’re distracted during a critical part of a task. For example, allowing ourselves to be distracted when driving or operating equipment is not a good thing.
We may not always have control over the distraction, but we can control how we will deal with it.
For example, if a co-worker starts asking you questions while you’re operating a power tool, you can decide to…
- Turn off the power tool and step back to address the questions, or
- Keep your eyes on the task while telling the co-worker to give you a minute while you finish the task, or
- Turn your head to address the co-worker while continuing to operate the tool
While the first two options are good decisions for this scenario, the last choice of continuing to work while distracted is clearly not a good decision.
Distractions are often at the root of many incidents that involve personal injury or equipment damage. You may not always have control over distractions, but if they occur during a critical part of a task you are performing – be sure you make the right decisions on how you will deal with it.