Managing Safety Performance NewsFlash

Paying Attention

Where do you look for hazards?
The obvious answer: at what at you’re doing. Look at any task – from simple to complex – you’ll find a variety of ways you can get hurt. 
But, if the task is the only place you’re looking, you’re setting yourself up to be a victim of a different source of danger: the surroundings. That’s where the task is being performed.
Work always takes place in a three-dimensional space, with its own set of hazards. Look around – above, below, on all sides: there’s bound to be something that can hurt you, even if it’s nothing more than windblown dust.
But paying attention requires time and effort.
What should you pay more attention to: the task or the surroundings? 

The answer: both what and where. Paying attention to only one runs the risk of missing the other. Here’s what can happen taking that approach.

Paul Balmert
November 2021

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