Managing Safety Performance NewsFlash

Sixth Sense

The five senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, smell. Together they form the foundation of hazard recognition, done real time where we live and work. There is also the notion of a sixth sense. Call it premonition, gut feel, a sense that. It’s the feeling that something may happen, and in most cases, that something isn’t good. 

What’s your take on the Sixth Sense: fact or fiction?

Here’s a recent case where someone had a sixth sense about a job hazard. Even shared it with others, before suffering a fatal injury.  


Here’s our take on the Sixth Sense. That brain that sits atop the shoulders of every one of us is an amazingly sophisticated machine. Our brain is constantly taking in sensory information – sight, sound, touch, taste, smell – and constantly processing that sensory information.

But most of that goes on subconsciously, without us “knowing” we are even doing it. When our brain senses a problem, it sets off an alarm: something isn’t right.

That being the case, the best thing to do whenever you get that sixth sense is to pay attention: likely there will be hard sensory data present that can help you recognize exactly what the hazard is.

Paul Balmert
May 2019

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