There are no shortcuts to safety! Most people try to get their jobs done with the least amount of time and energy, which leads us to continually look for better ways for completing our work – as it should be. However, safety hazards increase when those “better ways” are only short cuts that don’t consider how to do the job safely or disregard the safety systems already in place.
- Do we over reach the ladder instead of taking a minute to reposition for a safer reach?
- Do we use or store chemicals without first reading the MSDS?
- Do we observe or walk by an unsafe condition without correcting it or notifying others?
- Do we not wear our safety glasses or other Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) because it will take another minute or two to retrieve them?
- Do we cross the street between intersections instead of using the cross walks?
- Do we not follow Lock Out / Tag Out (LOTO) procedures before working on machines, because it is not convenient to do so?
- Do we continue to text and talk on our cell phones while driving?
- Do you start your work without taking a few minutes to complete a Safe Plan of Action (SPA), that will eliminate the safety hazards for that task?
It is human nature to believe that once a shortcut is taken successfully, it can be taken repeatedly without consequences. Therein lies the problem! Shortcuts will almost always increase your risk, and if you continue to take those shortcuts, someone will eventually pay the price with an injury, loss of life, or property damage. The minutes that you are trying to save could cost you days, weeks, or even the rest of your life!
What are the shortcuts you should eliminate?