October 27, 2020
Combating Workplace Safety Complacency
Workplace safety complacency occurs when an employee becomes so familiar with their job responsibilities that they develop an overly relaxed attitude toward tasks. This attitude shift can cause employees to become unconcerned regarding job hazards and stop taking proper safety precautions.
Employees can display workplace safety complacency in a variety of ways—including rushing through tasks, skipping important safety steps during a task, multitasking or engaging in distracting activities while performing a task. If and when your employees are complacent on the job, significant consequences—such as near-miss incidents, injuries and fatalities—can occur. In fact, many safety incidents aren’t caused by unsafe conditions, but rather by careless acts or behaviors.
Complacency is particularly detrimental in manufacturing, as there are often many different and potentially dangerous tasks occurring on the job floor simultaneously. Just one lapse in concentration can lead to injuries related to slips, trips, falls, machinery usage and electrical hazards. That’s why it’s crucial for you to play your part in combating complacency to keep your employees safe on the job.
How to Prevent Workplace Safety Complacency
To combat safety complacency within your workplace, instruct employees to do the following:
- Take hazards seriously. Employees should be reminded that, no matter their skill level, no one is immune to workplace hazards. As such, they must always pay attention during workplace safety meetings and training sessions to fully understand the risks that accompany their role. Additionally, employees must comprehend the consequences of engaging in unsafe actions.
- Follow workplace policies and procedures. Ensure employees follow all safety policies and procedures when performing workplace tasks, even if it seems tedious. They should never rush through tasks, try to multitask or skip certain steps.
- Conduct safety audits. Consider having employees routinely audit each other’s safety procedures to identify any obvious hazards. This practice is commonly referred to as a behavior-based safety observation (BBSO). By observing others, your employees may become more aware of their own habits and identify additional areas for improvement.
To ensure a successful safety culture within your organization, it’s crucial to address complacency issues on the job. For more guidance on other manufacturing topics, contact Seubert & Associates, Inc. today.