The foundation of a prosperous and functioning work environment is a strong safety program. We want all employees to feel they work in a caring and safe environment and that they can leave the way they came to work; healthy and safe.
As safety professionals we create SOP’s, protocols, safety awareness announcements and, as employees, we spend many hours learning the proper way to safely perform work activities and follow all these recommendations.
One of the factors that undermine safety is complacency. The definition of complacency is a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger or defect. This does happen over time. We, in general, perform the same tasks repetitively and often look for ways to shortcut our work to increase productivity or speed up our process. It’s where workers take the conditions for granted. This causes us to create unsafe practices by sometimes cutting out the safety steps.
To combat complacency we must create intentional ways to make employees care about their safety in the workplace. We need to remove obstacles to safety; that is make safety information easily accessible and create safe solutions that add value to their process not inhibit production. We need to create meaning for our safety solutions. Employees must see the value in operating safely, not just bombarded with added rules or protocols. We must empower them and challenge them to embrace safety. Finally we must celebrate continued devotion to safety.
At the end of the day we are all each other’s keepers and we must take the time to be safe. It is not an option.
Author: Jim Krywko
Supervisor/Site Safety Coordinator
Frontier Science Partnerships