• Health & Safety

Complacency’s Impact On Safety

Posted by Sienna Luard·

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Complacency’s impact on safety should not be underestimated.

In a 2021 survey of more than 300 National Safety Council member organizations, “safety complacency among workers” is the top workplace safety issue.

Jack Jackson defines complacency as “the act of doing routine tasks without thinking about it.”  This can lead to people doing their work on autopilot.  They let their guard down. Therefore, they are not consciously looking for potential hazards.

What contributes to complacency?

  • Ingrained habits can unintentionally prompt people to be unconscious of their surroundings.
  • Many workers have no education about work related risks.  Therefore, they are not aware of effective ways to mitigate those risks.
  • People become desensitized to what they cannot see or understand fully.

Complacency also shows up at the company level

  • It is easy to accept the status quo until something bad happens.
  • Companies determine that they are “good.”  They define that with lagging indicators like incidents.  They do not factor in leading indicators like near misses.
  • Companies adopt a best practice and stop looking for new ways to improve. 

How can you combat complacency?

  • Empower employees with knowledge and encourage them to speak up when they see something that they feel is unsafe.
  • Encourage communication by posting safety messages and conducting safety meetings in a format that is easy to digest and act upon.

Above All, Wombat Software wants to make it easy for workers to contribute to safety.  However, workers need to be mindful about what they are doing to effectively manage the risks that come with their jobs. How can software help people be more in tune with safety?  We want to hear your ideas on how to lessen Complacency’s impact on safety.