Complacency — The Silent Killer, Larry Wilson continue to say that Of course it takes a bit of effort to develop new habits or to change old ones, but the real bonus is that once you do, you will do it automatically. It won’t take any effort after that. And then you won’t have to worry nearly as much about complacency leading to mind not on task and mind not on task leading to other critical errors.
However, even though improving your safety-related habits will help to compensate for your mind’s
going off task, it would also be good if we had a way of helping people “pull their mind back into the ballgame” or to bring them back to the moment. This is because your habits and reflexes alone don’t give you the ability to anticipate a dangerous situation and then take yourself completely out of harm’s way. That you need your mind for.
However, if you watch other people for “state to error” risk patterns, every time you see one, it will automatically make you think more about what you’re doing. And if what you see is sensational
enough, you’ll do more than think about it — you’ll actually react to it. For instance, instead of just driving on auto-pilot, you look around a bit more. As you do, you notice the driver beside you trying to look at a piece of paper inside a file folder while talking to someone on the phone. Chances are, you’re going to speed up, slow down, move over another lane to get out of the way.
But if you didn’t look or don’t get in the habit of looking, then you wouldn’t necessarily take yourself out of the line-of-fire. So working on your safety-related habits helps to compensate for complacency leading to mind not on task, and looking at others for state to error risk patterns helps to pull your mind back into the ballgame and make you think about the risk of what you’re doing at the moment.
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