Safety Focus of the Week: Human Behavior (revisited)
Most incidents involving injuries or damage to property (utilities, vehicles, equipment, etc.) involve a variety of causes coming together at the same time which cause even a very robust safety system to be compromised at a critical time. And frequently, these incidents come down to multiple causes that are related to human behavior and/or human error. Examples of human behavioral affects on safety may include:
- Complacency – Don’t get fooled because the process worked thousands of times before without incident. Be ready. Look for problems. Take corrective actions to maintain a good system.
- Keep Your Head in the Game – Had an argument with your spouse this morning; curt comment from the boss; thinking about the weekend. Whatever it is, if you can’t stay focused on the task, then you won’t have control over the work.
- Exhaustion, Hung Over, etc. – Don’t put yourself in a situation that compromises the safety of yourself, your co-workers, or the public. Avoid excessive indulgence before a work day, get plenty sleep, and take frequent breaks when performing monotonous work (like highway driving).
- Overconfidence & Arrogance – Don’t get blinded by your overconfidence. When we get good at a task it’s easy to get overconfident. We become an expert at a task only after we become real good at the task and understand that our human physical and mental limitations will always keep us from being perfect at the task.
In addition, look out for your co-workers. If you see a human behavior that compromises safety, discuss it with your foreman, or our safety department.