Complacency lets our guard down, refocus and be safety sound
|I cannot imagine any condition which would cause a ship to founder. I cannot conceive of any vital disaster happening to this vessel. Modern shipbuilding has gone beyond that.
– Captain Edward Smith of the Titanic
As time goes by and nothing “bad” happens, even the best of us become complacent.
- Loss of focus. There’s a direct link between complacency and losing focus. If you’re less concerned about a hazard it’s easy to take your mind off it.
- Risk perception is affected. Our comfort level drifts upward when things are going okay, but it drops quickly following an incident. A speeding ticket will cause most drivers to watch their speed over the subsequent weeks, but eventually many drivers drift to their original habits even though the risk of a ticket hasn’t changed.
- “It won’t happen to me”. Unfortunately, it often takes a significant near miss or serious injury for most people (and companies) to realize they’ve become too complacent. We know the hazard exists, but we believe we are immune to it.
Be a Safety Leader! Leadership challenges people to high expectations and complacency is content with “good enough.”