I am not too sure whether or not many of you know who Larry Wilson is? Larry is a behavior-based safety consultant. He is also the co-author of the book, “Inside Out: Rethinking Traditional Safety Management Paradigms.” Larry wrote these words in one of his book entitled: Complacency – The Silent Killer.
There are techniques you can use to fight complacency and also to compensate for complacency leading to mind not on task and mind not on task leading to line-of-fire or balance, traction, or grip errors. They don’t require expensive equipment or yellow and black hashmarks, but they do take a bit of personal effort. Finally, besides teaching people these techniques, we also have to teach them to develop a deep level of respect for complacency and what it can do so it doesn’t start creeping in to their decision-making, as well.
Critical Error Reduction Techniques
Although everyone does get complacent with things they have done over and over, it’s not hopeless.
Because if you’re not thinking about what you’re doing, your behavior will be what it normally is.
And it will change only if you make a conscious effort to change it.
Larry continue to say that we need to get people, including ourselves, to work on their safety-related habits, such as moving your eyes before you move your hands, feet, body, or car; testing your footing or grip before you commit your weight to it; looking at your “second foot” as you step over a cord or something on which you could trip (it is usually the second foot you’re not paying attention to that gets caught or hung up); looking twice when the sun is in your eyes to make sure you didn’t miss something; lightly touching something before you grab it, if it might be hot (I learned this one at a steel mill); and, finally — sadly, in the case of the mountain biker — habitually looking for line-of-fire or what might be coming at you at blind intersections (or where bike trails through the woods exit onto a side road). Because if you don’t see what might be coming at you, it could easily be the last mistake you’ll ever make.
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