Stop rationalizing “safety shortcuts” and unsafe habits

Jun 23, 2022
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Written by Washington Retail
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What thoughts do workers have before they decide to take a safety shortcut? They might think, “I’m running behind schedule,” “Nothing bad will happen to me,” “Everybody does it this way, or “I’ve done it this way before and didn’t get hurt.”

Regardless of the rationalization for the behavior, these thoughts demonstrate how risk perceptions can vary widely among employees.

When workers are overly optimistic in their belief that no injuries will happen, they tend to take risks that could eventually result in injury. Shortcuts based on misplaced optimism or poor risk perception can cut a life short.

Safety starts with management and flows through to every employee. When management communicates safety as a priority through effective messaging throughout the organization, you will start seeing improvement in safety practices and behaviors.

A culture of safety leads to a safer, more productive shop.

RS SafetyTV and the RS safety library provide additional information on this topic, which can be used for your safety meetings.

Rick Means, Director of Safety and Education, is available to help members with safety. Contact Rick at 360-943-9198, Ext. 118 or [email protected].