‘Mindful’ Health & Safety Culture: Next Person Part II
Think of the Next Person
Property damage incidents. A busy construction site that has hundreds of workers on it has been experiencing property damage incidents. A safety manager who is reviewing these incidents notices most of the items damaged are tools and equipment set down by laborers when they are not being used. These items are not expected to be in these areas and are not seen by heavy equipment operators who end up striking them.
Review of the Examples
In these examples it is easy to see one thing that went wrong was a lack of foresight and not thinking of the others who may be affected by certain decisions. In the manual handling example, a lack of foresight by the supervisor put the laborers at great risk for injury by having to move the heavy boxes by hand. This exposure to unnecessary risk for a sprain or strain injury occurs often. Even a simple decision to place a heavy box on the floor for sake of ease can lead to an injury for the next person who has to bend over to pick it up.
Similar incidents to the property damage example occur daily on construction sites. Carelessness or lack of forethought about the right place to put objects or park vehicles leads to property damage. In the example, the laborers did not take the time to set items in a place where operators would see them or expect them to be. If the laborers would have given thought to the operators’ movements in that area they probably would have chosen a safer place to put the objects.
Great things happen when everyone begins to consider how their decisions will affect others. Realize that your own safety not only depends on your decisions, but choices made by every other person working around you. A choice as simple as placing a heavy box on a table instead of the floor can save a coworker from experiencing a severe back injury that places them out of work for months.