Posted by Howe Q. Wallace on Friday, March 3rd, 2023
Sunbelt Safety Director Richard Stinson shared this note today. It resonated with me.
It’s normal to slip into complacency. Our COO, Matt Sheffield, shares similar thoughts often. He marvels at how well we respond after an accident and wonders why we can’t put some of that effort into prevention.
The key is to build our safety behavior in such a fashion that it’s the only way we know to act. We need to believe in safety as we would our most cherished commitment. It needs to become our habit. Any time we aren’t doing it, it should make us uneasy until we regain our senses.
I hope Richard’s thoughts strike a chord with you, too!
We have all seen it, heard it, and felt it. Monday is another Monday in a different work week passing through one more year. Everything is quiet, and we expect it to stay that way. After all, nothing has happened before.
Complacency can grow deep roots within our organization and can flourish to the point of failure without intervention. It offers a comfort zone where a false sense of security is harbored. The rewards for taking that shortcut outweigh the effort needed to perform the task safely. Soon the risk is justified through gradual rationalization.
Suddenly, there it is; the one serious event that has everyone in shock, wondering how it happened but not surprised when it does occur. Risky behavior is statistical roulette. Eventually, the odds of a serious injury approach a high degree of certainty.
Don’t let that shortcut be your barrier to elite safety practices.