Avoiding Workplace Safety Complacency
Safety is paramount in the workplace to avoid illness and injury, which is why becoming complacent with safety measures can be so dangerous. Workplace safety complacency is a sense of security in your job that causes you to become less aware of your surroundings. In other words, complacency happens when you go on “autopilot” mode, going through the motions of your job without being fully engaged.
Workplace safety complacency can show itself in many ways. Some signs you may recognize in yourself include:
- Skipping or forgetting steps in your typical work tasks
- Experiencing near-miss incidents
- Feeling a lack of motivation
Some signs you may see in your co-workers include:
- Changes in attitude
- Frequent tardiness
- Shifts in communication, whether it pertains to the frequency or the quality
Safety complacency can lead to workplace accidents in which you or a co-worker may be injured. Complacency can also lead to decreased efficiency, as tasks may have to be redone if they were initially executed incorrectly or insufficiently.
There are many steps you can take to combat complacency and promote safety at work. Here are some best practices to consider:
- Focus on your tasks. Even if it is something you have done countless times before, making a conscious effort to focus on each step can help you stay more engaged in the task at hand.
- Eliminate distractions. Try to limit conversations with co-workers until you are finished with your work, and do not multitask. Keeping your focus on one thing at a time will help you avoid becoming complacent.
- Switch up your routine, if possible. For example, if you normally check your emails in the afternoon, try checking them in the morning instead. A new routine keeps you on your toes and makes you less likely to become complacent in your work.
For more information on workplace safety complacency, talk to your supervisor.
The Dangers of Drug and Alcohol Use on the Job
Drug and alcohol use in the workplace can have a multitude of negative effects on you, your co-workers and the company as a whole. In fact, employees who use drugs and alcohol take three times as many sick days and are five times more likely to file workers’ compensation claims due to on-site accidents than those who do not use such substances. This can affect companywide safety, productivity and morale.
Furthermore, those who use drugs and alcohol may lash out at their co-workers or cause other behavioral issues. These issues may affect other employees’ abilities to complete their work as well as their levels of comfortability with coming to work.
In order to care for those around you and promote a safe work environment, be on the lookout for signs of drug or alcohol use among your co-workers. Some signs include:
- Reduced personal hygiene
- Extreme fatigue
- Altered work hours (e.g., frequently coming in late)
- Increased anxiety, depression, paranoia or agitation
If you notice any of these signs in a co-worker, reach out to a supervisor to report the behavior. Do not try to cover for your co-worker. This behavior is called enabling and can damage a person’s chances of recovery in the long term. Your best course of action is to address the behavior with a supervisor so that your co-worker can receive the help they need.
If you are struggling with drug or alcohol use, here are some resources to help you find treatment options or reach sobriety:
- Substance abuse helplines—These helplines only require a simple call to connect you to a trained professional. This person will listen to your struggles and help you determine the best course of action.
- Medical professionals—Your primary care provider may also have suggestions for recovery and treatment options related to drug and alcohol use.
You should always refrain from using drugs or alcohol at work. Your sobriety goes hand in hand with your safety and the safety of those around you. Consult your supervisor for more information on the dangers of drug and alcohol use at work.
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