Complacency is perhaps one of the biggest problems we face in completing our day to day tasks and would be one of many safety topics to discuss with your workers. We are “used” to things being a certain way or flowing a certain way each time we complete a task, and unless the obvious comes right out and hits us… we can be oblivious to it all. This state of mind can affect many things such as productivity, quality and safety.
When it comes to personal safety, complacency can be a literal “killer” on the job. Each moment we are working with hazardous energy, whether it be driving, operating equipment, working on an assembly line, using power tools, or even walking from one end of the site to the other, we must keep focused on the task at hand.
There is much danger in going into “autopilot” when working on the job. All too often we don’t realize how complacent we are until we have a near miss or close call. Those events tend to jump start our hearts and refocus our attention on the task at hand, at least for a while.
One technique found to be effective in battling complacency in your own actions is to briefly stop work and watch the actions of others as they work. Observing others raises your awareness as you examine the actions of a co-worker while they work. Additionally, it raises your co-worker’s awareness and helps them complete their task in a safer manner through sharing with them the observations you make.
Try this technique as you are working if you feel yourself going into the complacent state of “auto-pilot”. If anything, remember the concept of “stop, think, go” as this will assist in refocusing your mind and preventing complacency.