The term complacency has several definitions; perhaps the one most suitable (in the context of safety) is as follows, “a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like”. Ironically, this feeling can develop from a perception that you live and work in a safe environment. An environment of few, if any, workplace incidents and when an incident does occur, it is often of a minor nature.
The message here is, never let your guard down. We maintain our safety by doing just that, maintaining it.
The ways we maintain our safety:
- We maintain a safe workplace by following established protocols and procedures.
- We have daily safety stand downs to discuss changes and potential hazards that develop from day to day on our worksite.
- We wear the appropriate PPE for the task at hand.
- We complete and review a JSA before starting a task.
- We take a “Four Second Reset” to stop and think about the safety side of the task we’re about to start.
- We manage our “Zone of Control” on the worksite. Hazards identified, eliminated or controlled. Maintaining housekeeping and organization. Other workers and/or mobile equipment coming into your work area. (20-20-20 Rule)
- We report any and all perceived or potential hazards on the worksite.
- We report all near misses. When reported, we are able to collect information, identify trends, correct current problems, and prevent future incidents and injuries from happening.
- We coach, mentor and watch out for each other throughout the day.
A level of safety in the workplace where incidents are indeed a rare occurrence, does not guarantee future success, however it is an indication of a strong safety culture. It’s up to all of us to never let our guard down. Continuous safety maintenance is the backbone of a strong safety culture and a truly safe workplace.