Yes! Because of your many fabulous comments and requests, which was so greatly appreciated- This is the return of Companies Behaving Badly which will now be published the third Thursday of each month.
This means I will have to add something new and make adjustments my routine so I can dedicate time to writing this series which is a good thing since it’s nice to change up one’s routine so it doesn’t get too stale and predictable but it’s also bad in that I absolutely hate changing my routine. Once I get a routine all nicely broken in, comfy and predictable I’m set and can carry on for months if not years. However, when it comes to safety in the workplace getting into a set routine can be very dangerous.
When we fall into a set routine we develop a false sense of security and then complacency develops and focus is lost. You’ve backed up your forklift hundreds of times when loading, unloading trucks or storage racks and you have always looked behind before moving and in all those times not once, did anyone walk behind you. Complacency begins to woo you over to their ways and letting your guard down as your new false security is reason to believe people know better than to go behind you and they need to watch for you. So now you backup your forklift without even so much as a slight swivel of your head.
One day it happens –
So how do we combat complacency in the workplace? We could hire cheerleaders shouting out encouragement to pay attention to the movement on the shop floor but that could become very impractical and costly overtime not to mention distracting. We could use the grief and guilt generated from the accident to motivate workers to avoid complacency but unfortunately, that has a short shelf-life as the memory will soon fade.
It’s not easy to be on the top of your game every day. Even athletes have off days. You didn’t sleep, you’re worried about a sick family member, you’re ill, you have money problems, but you do your best to stay focused. You can’t be a helicopter manager walking alongside your employees every minute of the workday but you can have a huddle at the beginning of each shift. It’s the best time to communicate with your staff about what to expect, what to watch for and any other reminders you want to convey.
It’s also why you as the manager/supervisor want to be on the shop floor 80% of your time. Watching for signs of complacency and touching base with workers in real-time. Let’s face it, workplace safety is not glamorous, at times it seems like your parents scolding but maybe if we think of it as a form of communication instead of safety where we discuss ways to ensure we go home in one piece and understand you are just as responsible for your safety as the company you work for, maybe even more so.
PREVENTABLE – Beer delivery firm fined £800,000 after a worker was run over by forklift truck at Dagenham depot https://buff.ly/2Uzutsx Here’s a case where a forklift backed up and hit a worker.
PREVENTABLE WORKING TOGETHER – Workplace fatalities are at their highest levels since 2008. What’s going on? More than ever we need to watch each other back at work. Stay focused and don’t be afraid to speak up.
PREVENTABLE – Ever wonder what an accident waiting to happen looks like? Inside a chaotic warehouse where Hermes staff were ‘buried in parcels. https://buff.ly/36XHzTb Wonder what the customers are thinking. Housekeeping is an important part of safety in the workplace. It prevents trips, slips and falls not to mention makes the facility look really good too and keeps the brass from looking deeper.
PREVENTABLE – This is not complacency related but is a distraction issue which is just as bad. Jobsites’ most universal hazard is the personal cellphone https://buff.ly/2UwtZU0: We really are our own worst enemy.
Why you need to inspect –