While there are so many measures, strategies, training and equipment within any safety management system, why do accidents still occur?
Accidents in the workplace are real. Sometimes you are lucky, sometimes you are not.
As Cristian Sylvestre asked, How much attention were you paying?
At the Safety in Action seminar series, Cristian Sylvestre, Managing Director of SafeStart, delivered informative talks Keeping People’s Mind on the Job- Deactivating the ‘Autopilot’ and Building Safety Culture from the Bottom Up. Sylvestre’s series highlighted the undisputable necessity for improved personal responsibility for safety through improved attention.
Sylvestre spoke about ‘autopilot’ being a state of comfort where repetitious or habitual tasks combined with an active safety management system leads to a false sense of security. This state will then provide the perfect environment for critical errors to occur, thereby increasing the risk of injury.
Approximately 95% of accidents occur through unintentional human error according to Sylvestre either in the four critical error states of rushing, frustration, fatigue and complacency, which disengage your mind and eyes from the task at hand. While we all experience this disconnection of focus and attention at some point in our working day, rarely does it lead to hazardous consequences which then reinforces inattentive behaviour.
Without experiencing pain or the potential fear of pain, as Sylvestre said, we will not be able to actively change our behaviour. So what can we do about this?
Sylvestre offered the prospect of working bottom up. In order to protect and maintain a safer environment, individuals need to make decisions about their own attentiveness.
However, in order to drive individual commitments to safety in the workplace there has to be a mutual agenda at hand, which Sylvestre says is family. By placing the focus not to be on safety in the workplace but active safety in all streams of life, this cultivates the potential to educate your family on the importance of attention, to effectively reduce unintentional accidents.
The SafeStart courses run by Sylvestre teach fundamental actions to practice and for habits to change. SafeStart’s attentive skill strategies introduce incremental changes to lead a safety training program that is life related for a greater invested employee interest in change.