When it comes to workplace safety, many safety incidents are not caused by unsafe conditions, but from careless acts or behaviors. Put simply, when people become overly confident with their work process, they can also become complacent. An employee becomes so familiar with their job responsibilities that they start to develop a relaxed attitude toward tasks. This attitude shift can cause the employee to ignore or become complacent with their 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.
Here’s what you can do to combat safety complacency within the workplace:
- Take hazards seriously. Remember that no matter your skill level, you’re never immune to workplace hazards. Always pay attention during workplace safety meetings and training sessions to fully understand the risks that accompany your role and comprehend the consequences of engaging in unsafe actions.
- Follow workplace policies and procedures. Ensure you follow all safety policies and procedures when performing workplace tasks, even if it seems tedious. Don’t rush through tasks, try to multitask, or skip certain steps.
- Conduct safety audits. Consider having a co-worker routinely audit you to see if they identify any safety concerns while you work—this is also known as a behavior-based safety observation (BBSO). Make sure you assist your co-workers by auditing their work through BBSOs as well. By observing others, you may even become more aware of your own habits and identify additional areas for improvement.
To ensure a successful safety culture, it’s crucial to address complacency issues on the job. How can RiskSOURCE help?
Kasey Young, ACRA
Client Relations Manager