Complacency can be defined as self-satisfaction or a sense of security in one’s own work activities, especially when accompanied by actual dangers or deficiencies. I think we all know most incidents are caused by unsafe acts.
Most incidents that occur involve people being complacent about their work – and in doing so, they may forget to take precautions to prevent injuries and accidents. Have you ever driven home and while driving, forgot the route? This is caused by making the trip to and from work every day – in other words, you become complacent about the drive. If you begin to work in ‘automatic mode’ and stop paying attention to what you are doing, that can lead to taking shortcuts and unnecessary risks.
What can you—and everyone else—do to prevent complacency? If you aren’t consciously thinking about what could go wrong while you work, you are not completing the task the right way and safely. It’s extremely important for you, and everyone else at work, to think ahead.
As you approach each task, consider the following:
> Who and what are you working with?
> What will you be doing?
> Where will you be going?
> What could go wrong?
Always inspect equipment and follow safe work practices and procedures and the know the hazards that may exist, and focus physically and mentally on your work—no matter how many times you may have done the same job in the past.
Why is complacency a concern? Complacency is extremely dangerous in the workplace. We get so used to things being done the same way that we do not always look at the hazards in the performance of work.
We may also forget the risks associated with the tasks we perform regularly or fail to notice a change in our environment when we become complacent in our daily routines.
When working on a jobsite, there is danger when an individual goes on ‘autopilot’—all too often we don’t realize how complacent we are until we have a near miss, accident, or incident.
To avoid complacency, we all must be focused on our work, understand the hazards of our work, and create a safe workplace!
Until next time…work safe & be safe!