‘Mindful’ Health & Safety Culture: The Next Person Safety

‘Mindful’ Health & Safety Culture: The Next Person

Think of the Next Person

There are many things that need to go right for a worksite or company to maintain a high level of safety and experience zero or a low number of injuriesover a long period of time. One characteristic of a workforce that is very important to achieve low injury numbers is having employees who consider how their decisions affect others. When workers think about each other when preparing for a task or doing a task, everyone wins. An important rule of thumb when making a decision is “to think of the next person”.

Defining “Think of the Next Person”

Preplanning is one of the most important things individuals can do at work to ensure safe and efficient operations. One aspect of preplanning is thinking about the others who may be impacted by your decisions or the work that you are doing. When you make a choice to do something at work you should not only just consider what is easy or convenient for you, but it should also be taken into consideration how that choice may affect another person.

An easy way to discuss this idea is to use common examples that happen every day in workplaces:

Manual handling risks. A vendor is onsite and is delivering heavy boxes. A supervisor makes a quick decision to have the boxes placed in a small room out the way of the operation that day. As work goes on, more objects and obstacles are placed around the boxes without thought. One day the boxes must be retrieved, however, there are too many things in the way for a forklift or piece of machinery to access the boxes. Because of this, the boxes must be lifted by hand by laborers and carried to a spot where they can be accessed. This puts the laborers at unnecessary risk for a sprain or strain injury.