Returning home safe and sound at the end of our workday depends greatly on how we prepare for our work.
Similar to preparing for a road trip, we need to plan to make sure our trip is the best and safest it can be:
Are we fatigued? Is the car ready to go (does everything work as it should, do we have enough tire pressure, do we need gas, do all our lights work, do we have wiper fluid etc.)? What possible weather / road conditions could we face? Is there construction happening?
We need to approach our workday with the same quick, but mindful analysis.
• Did I get enough rest before I reported for work?
Employee fatigue is widely known to be a significant contributing factor to workplace incidents.
• Am I aware of the job duties for my workday?
Is this a new role / am I working in a new area? Has anything changed from my last shift?
• Is the equipment that I am using for my shift in proper working order?
Have I quickly done an inspection to ensure everything is in good working condition and that I have the appropriate tools/equipment to safely conduct my work (PPE, inventory etc.) If this is a new task for me, do I know what proper equipment I need and what questions to ask for clarification?
• Are there any distractions to my safety?
Keeping your full attention to the task and your surroundings is a critical piece of worker safety: ensuring in a busy work environment, with constant change, that you maintain task focus. Distractions can come in many forms – technology, people, work flow, equipment, noise. It takes a dedicated effort to minimize these factors so you can ensure you get through your work shift injury-free.
For many employees who have been working in this sector for years, each task that you perform may be more than routine at this point. The danger in familiarity is often we may not be as mindful of how we approach the work or we get complacent; feeling you could almost do the task with your eyes closed.
Unfortunately it is widely known in industry that organizations face some of its greatest risk for injury when employees are less attentive of their tasks or get complacent in their work. Stay engaged, be mindful and prepared as you face each task throughout your workday.
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