People instinctively seek to avoid pain and death. (A possible exception may be the people we see on Funniest Home Videos and Extreme Sports programs) Yet, when we are at work, how many people have we seen take shortcuts and unnecessary risks to perform a task? Why do they do it? Have they been trained to do it right? Do they have the tools to do the job the right way? You see, we have choices that we can make every day. What are your eyes, hands, health and life worth? Are you willing to risk an injury to
“save a minute?” Have you seen a bad accident happen to a co-worker? Chances are that the incident could have been avoided if the risk would have been identified and actions had been taken to eliminate the hazard. There are two important things that can have an influence on what happens: knowledge and attitude. We are at a point where a good attitude can make all the difference. If you have the training and tools but choose to take a shortcut anyway, everything else may as well been thrown out the window. The work we do can be dangerous. Many of us spend a lot of time driving down the highway and that is where more than 34,000 were killed and over 2,200,000 were injured in 2009 (the latest year for statistics).
We have to stay alert to the dangers! Safety rules and procedures are written to protect you from harm. They are not written to make your work more uncomfortable or inconvenient. If you have the knowledge and tools and still choose to ignore the safety rules, then you have an attitude that is placing not only you but your co-workers in danger. If you have the knowledge to determine if a situation is unsafe, take the appropriate actions to correct the situation or notify those who can.
We are not perfect. Even the best of us can forget or make errors in judgment. To maximize job safety, we have to look out for one another. If someone tells you that you are not working in a safe manner, don’t get angry or defensive. They are looking out for your safety and well being. It is not enough to know the right way to do something, you have to follow through and do the right thing. Remember, attitude affects behavior. Have the right attitude toward safety and make the right choices. The life you save may be your own or a coworker’s.