top of page
  • Writer's pictureLeverage Safety

Protecting Yourself On and Off the Job

Updated: Jul 18

In times of fear and uncertainty, maintaining focus on safety becomes paramount to ensure the well-being of employees. As a safety consultant, I understand individuals' challenges when overwhelmed by external circumstances. This article will explore strategies to remain injury- and disease-free on and off the job, emphasizing the importance of prioritizing critical risks and adopting precautionary measures. By fostering a culture of safety even during crises, we can protect ourselves and those around us.

The Current Crisis: A Learning Opportunity

As I write this, we are amidst the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. The global landscape has been dramatically altered, leaving individuals grappling with fear and uncertainty. Travel has come to a halt, borders are closed, and mandatory quarantines are in place. Schools have shut down, causing disruptions in daily routines, and businesses are facing significant challenges. The future appears uncertain, and it is vital that we maintain our focus on safety to mitigate the impact on our well-being.

Safety at Work: A Crucial Consideration

Even in times of crisis, it is imperative that we continue our work responsibilities while ensuring our own safety. Business continuity relies on a healthy and injury-free workforce. However, fear and uncertainty can lead to distractions and increased safety risks. To address this, we must not only keep the message about safety at the forefront but also develop a genuine focus on safety.

Maintaining Focus: A Lesson from Driving

When driving, our focus is essential for navigating safely. We concentrate on the road markings and curbs, using them as guides. However, we also scan our surroundings, observing the behavior of other vehicles, pedestrians, and animals. This combined focus and scanning approach allows us to identify potential risks. Similarly, during a crisis, individuals tend to be fixated on uncertainty, scanning for any threats that might harm them. This is akin to driving while engrossed in a distracting conversation on a cellphone, diverting attention from the road ahead. It is vital to recognize these distractions and refocus on safety.

Developing a Focus on Safety

To foster a genuine focus on safety during a crisis, we must address several crucial questions:

  1. Identify the critical risks: Determine the high-probability, high-severity risks that pose the greatest threat. By focusing on these significant risks, we can prioritize our efforts effectively.

  2. Understand common risks: Identify low-probability risks with uncertain severity. Although these risks may be less likely, they should not be overlooked. Awareness and preparedness are key.

  3. Precautions and employee discretion: Define the necessary precautions to mitigate the major risks. Additionally, encourage employees to exercise discretion in addressing common risks, empowering them to take ownership of their safety.

  4. Communication channels: Given limited communication channels, strategize effective ways to deliver safety messages to the workforce. Utilize available platforms and resources to ensure vital information reaches employees.

  5. Controlling required precautions: Implement measures to ensure compliance with necessary precautions. Develop protocols, provide clear guidelines, and establish monitoring systems to track adherence.

  6. Influencing and coaching employees: In the absence of traditional feedback methods, find alternative ways to influence and coach employees. Emphasize the importance of individual responsibility and provide guidance remotely whenever possible.

In times of crisis, maintaining a genuine focus on safety is critical to protect ourselves both on and off the job. By identifying and addressing the critical risks, as well as empowering employees to exercise discretion with common risks, we can foster a culture of safety amidst fear and uncertainty. Remember, specificity within safety is key during challenging times. Let us focus on what truly matters to keep ourselves healthy and safe.

0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page