Complacency in the Workplace: Don’t be a Zombie

Complacency can be defined as self-satisfaction, often combined with a lack of awareness of hazards. Complacency is extremely hazardous in the workplace. We get so used to things being done the same way that we do not always look at the hazards that may surround us. We also may underestimate the risk of tasks that we perform regularly, or fail to notice a change in our environment when we become complacent in our daily routines.

Have you ever noticed a time at work where you went into autopilot mode? All too often we don’t realize how complacent we are until we have a near miss or serious accident. When something such as a near miss occurs, it jumpstarts our brains to refocus our attention on the hazards around us.

Employees should be cognizant of what hazards surround them every day. To help break free of complacency, utilize a 60-second safety risk assessment before you begin each task. Some things to ask yourself:

Do I have all the material needed to complete the task?

  • Tools.
  • Save Plan of Action.
  • PPE.

What materials will I be working with? What hazards could be associated?

  • Is there potential to drop my tape measure or other tools on someone below?
  • Am I working with chemicals that could cause an injury?
  • Will the work I am doing produce an odor that could affect others around me?

What environmental hazards could be present?

  • Are items laying on the walking or working surface that could cause a trip hazard?
  • Are there low hanging materials that could cause a head injury?
  • Is the work area icy or slippery?
  • Are there slip, trip, or fall hazards present?

Do I have proper training?

  • Ladder training.
  • Fall protection training.
  • Scaffold training.
  • PPE training.
  • Lift truck training.
  • Client required training.
  • General safety training.

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