Complacency is a Safety Hazard Safety

Complacency is a Safety Hazard

Complacency is extremely dangerous in our workplace. When we get used to things being “the way they have always been,” we no longer really take notice of our surroundings. We can underestimate the risk of tasks that we perform regularly or fail to notice a change in our environment when we have become complacent in our daily routine.

An accident rarely happens at the moment of the incident. More often, there were a series of steps (or mis-steps) leading up to that moment. Someone made a decision to do (or not do) something, such as not putting an item away properly or doing something they were not trained to do. All of these factors can ultimately lead to an incident. A different decision/action at any point in that process might have prevented the incident.

Our environment can change at any moment – a tool could break; a cord could be pulled into a walkway. It is the responsibility of every employee to stay aware of everything going on in his or her surroundings and to pay attention wherever you are.

In addition, each employee (foreman and supervisors in particular) should be actively surveying his or her work environment for hazards that may have been overlooked. It’s all too easy to live with a temporary solution that isn’t really an appropriate long-term solution, and unfortunately sometimes incidents result when stopgap measures are taken to solve a problem. In addition, we sometimes get complacent about clutter in our workplaces, such as conduit or ladders that might stick out into a walkway causing a trip or laceration hazard. Removing these hazards and looking for long term, safer solutions will help us keep a safer place to work.