Managing Safety Performance NewsFlash

About Awareness

Since every job you do comes with a set of hazards – things that can hurt you – awareness of those hazards is a fundamental element to working safely. You know that. 

Still, knowing that raises a number of basic and important questions you should be asking about hazard awareness. Your questions should start with, “What exactly is awareness?” and, “What hazards do I need to be aware of?”  

Those are two good questions, for which you need to have good answers. Do you?

If you don’t, you’re in good company, not that it stops anyone from working around hazards. If you want to find the answers, you need to ask more questions. 

Here are some good questions to ask..

  • For my job, what specific hazards require my awareness? 
  • Is knowing about a hazard the same thing as being aware of the hazard? 
  • If someone tells me about a hazard, does that mean I am aware of that hazard? 
  • When I see a hazard, does that mean I am aware of the hazard? 

Thinking about questions like these, you will quickly appreciate that hazard awareness isn’t simple, and achieving a high state of hazard awareness isn’t easy.

We will close with a useful answer to one question, and ask you one more question. 

Being aware of a hazard means recognizing there’s a hazard present and  taking the hazard seriously.

What does it take for you to be aware of the hazards that can harm you?

Paul Balmert
January 2023

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