Safety is paramount in the workplace to avoid illness and injury, which is why becoming complacent with safety measures can be so dangerous. Workplace safety complacency is a sense of security in your job that causes you to become less aware of your surroundings. In other words, complacency happens when you go on “autopilot” mode, going through the motions of your job without being fully engaged.
Workplace safety complacency can show itself in many ways. Some signs you may recognize in yourself include:
- Skipping or forgetting steps in your typical work tasks
- Experiencing near-miss incidents
- Feeling a lack of motivation
Some signs you may see in your co-workers include:
- Changes in attitude
- Frequent tardiness
- Shifts in communication, whether it pertains to the frequency or the quality
Safety complacency can lead to workplace accidents in which you or a co-worker may be injured. Complacency can also lead to decreased efficiency, as tasks may have to be redone if they were initially executed incorrectly or insufficiently.
There are many steps you can take to combat complacency and promote safety at work. Here are some best practices to consider:
- Focus on your tasks. Even if it is something you have done countless times before, making a conscious effort to focus on each step can help you stay more engaged in the task at hand.
- Eliminate distractions. Try to limit conversations with co-workers until you are finished with your work, and do not multitask. Keeping your focus on one thing at a time will help you avoid becoming complacent.
- Switch up your routine, if possible. For example, if you normally check your emails in the afternoon, try checking them in the morning instead. A new routine keeps you on your toes and makes you less likely to become complacent in your work.
For more information on workplace safety complacency, talk to your supervisor.