When we do accident investigations, a lot of times we find injuries can be attributed to some type of distraction.
Although it may not be possible to eliminate distractions, experts say steps can be taken to minimize them and recognize when they occur.
Different types of distractions
When people are distracted, they are not paying attention and fail to see hazards, which can lead to injuries.
A major distraction is the need to get the job done quickly. When employees become fixated on completing a job on time, they focus less on safety. Employees are more susceptible to injuries when they focus on finishing on time instead of safety. Then when an injury or incident occurs, time is lost to provide care or correct the problem.
Another facet of distraction is complacency. Employees feel they understand how to do the task at hand, but somehow they ignore the additional risks and fail to identify the hazards just because they become complacent and have done the job thousands of times.
Remember: every day we’re doing the same thing day in and day out, and we tend to forget we can be injured.
At the Marek Family of Companies we want to minimize distractions. That’s why our policy strictly says that the use of phones, media players, Bluetooth devices or other similar devices are not allowed unless approved by your safety manager.
Remember to watch each other’s backs. When you observe another employee distracted, remind him/her that you are at work. When they seem to be daydreaming about a day off, vacation, or other place, remind them that they need to be safe and that they are in a dangerous environment full of hazards.
Socializing with fellow employees is great, but it is a major distraction while working. Remember social media are off limits, you should not be texting or updating your status on any social platform.
Do not horseplay with others, what you think is funny, might not be funny to others.
Coworkers do not need to know they are pretty or attractive. Keep comments to yourself and remember we all deserve respect.
Employees often carry distractions with them when they come to work. They may have financial worries, problems with the kids, or they’re thinking about their upcoming vacation. Even when a distraction originates outside the workplace, it still affects focus while working. If you are going through something that is causing you to lose focus on your work that is personal, you are not alone. Please reach out to your supervisor or someone at your local office for help. Remember the last thing you need is to hurt yourself or others.