As more and more people find their way back into the workforce, I wonder if we are doing enough to defeat complacency. Complacency can be defined as self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies (A lack of vigilance due to familiarity with a task). Once workers have been fulfilling their role, for an extended period of time, their confidence grows and their awareness decreases which results in a lack of concentration and foresight. Hmmm…sounds like complacency can be potentially pretty dangerous.
Companies have been focusing on incident prevention, hazard awareness, ongoing training, systems development and processes. Seems to me that safety has become part of everyday life and a regular practice with companies and within worker’s roles. Has this caused our workforce to become complacent about their safety because they view it as just another task that they must complete everyday?
One example of complacency can be found in the use of job safety analysis (JSA). If workers complete the same task often, instead of filling out a new JSA every time (as they should) and actively thinking and discussing the risks involved, the worker may copy or photocopy the previous JSA, fail to complete them properly, or skim over them briefly.
We all have a duty to ensure that all workplaces are incident free. Here are some possible ways to defeat complacency:
- Highlight the risk of becoming complacent with workers and have discussions about times when workers have become complacent and how they resolved the situation.
- Change worker’s routines regularly so that they don’t become too comfortable in their job and causing them to become lax.
- If workers have an overly repetitive role, think about job rotations so that workers never spend too much time on the same task.
- Encourage workers to always think about what they are doing while they are doing it.
- Remind workers that every action has a reaction and the risks associated with those reactions.
- If you see workers taking short cuts or risks, immediately stop them and have a discussion.
- Create good safety habits/safety culture.
- Keep workers engaged in safety.
Complacency is a known problem and must be clearly recognized as a causal factor in incidents. Recognize when it occurs and take proactive steps to fight it.
All workplaces can be incident free. STS Solutions, Inc.-Solutions that Empower Safe Working Environments. Join us at www.sts.solutions