Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “complacency” as, “self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies”. When it comes to safety, complacency is dangerous.
There is no doubt that numerous near misses and accidents occur from allowing ourselves to become complacent in our work activities. Many jobs are repetitive in nature, and the more we repeat what we are doing, the better the chances are that we become complacent without even realizing it. Shortcuts are taken with the absence of consequences and therein lies the potential danger. “Feeling safe all the time” can also be a big threat to our well-being because we can drift into a “complacent mode”.
Working safely requires a high degree of awareness. One key to avoid complacency is to develop “safety habits”. Habits that you do over and over until they become automatic. Habits such as wearing safety glasses and hard hat, using a ladder the proper way, removing trip hazards, using fall protection when required . . .
Complacency is a known problem and must be clearly recognized as a casual factor in accidents. There is no cure for complacency, but we must be diligent in our prevention efforts. Stay alert to your surroundings, things can change and become precarious in an instant.
Premier Safety Solutions
Maryland Construction Safety Consultants
PO Box 353
Taneytown, MD 21787