During this unprecedented time in the world, we still need to be aware of all the hazards around us. Having a heightened awareness of all the hazards will help keep us healthy and safe from injury or illness. We need to be mindful of our surroundings and identify potential threats and dangerous situations. Ignorance of danger makes it unlikely that you will see danger. You must recognize that dangerous situations exist, even in the most routine places. When you observe a dangerous situation or notice a threat, you should be in the “high alert” state and take action. This will create a proactive response versus a reactive one, and it will help you sharpen your hazard awareness.
Being complacent can be a risk to your health and safety. Complacency can make you be unaware of surroundings due to high comfort levels in workplaces. It can also lead to a higher risk of injury due to not noticing changes or threats in the environment because we begin to expect the same outcomes day in and day out.
5 Tips for Improving Your Hazard Awareness
- Stay in the “focused awareness” state when working. This will allow you to process dangerous situations faster and quickly make decisions.
- Scan areas as you approach them and look for potential hazards (pallets, cases, ice, slick surfaces, etc).
- Get proper rest and take breaks. Being tired will only add to complacency.
- Always wear PPE (drivers on docks must wear safety shoes at all times); this will help you stay in the proper mindset.
- When you realize you are becoming complacent, get creative, and think of threats and how you would react to them in your situation.