When we speak about safety hazards at work, our mind usually conjures up scary images of the biggest workplace hazards like a fire explosion, a chemical handled wrong causing grave injuries and more. But, can you believe that the reason for most injuries are not these big, scary hazards but the common tasks performed daily?
Yes, the smallest tasks can even trip up experienced workers. We call these small hazards as “Stupid Mistakes.”
What Qualifies as a Stupid Mistake at Work?
While the term may come across as a bit harsh, it isn’t so and we don’t mean to offend you. The term doesn’t refer to a mistake performed by a worker who doesn’t know the right way to do a task nor does it have anything to do with intelligence (or rather the lack of).
Instead, stupid mistakes refer to small errors or slip-ups at the worksite that could have been avoided just by paying closer attention. Usually, the tasks that cause stupid mistakes are the ones that are performed over and over again. In spite of their everyday occurrence, workers are likely to mess up. This is why, we refer to them as “Stupid Mistakes.”
Why Do Stupid Mistakes happen at the Workplace?
The two primary reasons for workers to make stupid mistakes at the worksite are:
Let’s face it. Any one who does the same task over and over again is bound to become complacent and over-confident. It’s human nature. A person has done it so many times that now, he/she could do it with their eyes closed. But, that doesn’t mean you should attempt it blindfolded.
Since the task has become second nature, employees fail to pay attention to the job at hand. They fail to focus on the consequences of doing it the wrong way. Before you know it, an employee makes a stupid mistake on a simple task, causing huge damages to property and self.
What are Some Common Stupid Mistakes at a Worksite?
Almost all worksites, irrespective of the nature of the job or industry are filled with potential hazards. Heavy machinery, sharp tools, large objects, tripping hazards and more – all are part and parcel at the workplace.
Most injuries at the workplace are not caused by heavy machinery but failing to do something as simple as wearing hard hats, while on the factory floor. By forgetting your hard hat, you become a potential victim if something heavy where to fall from the upper floors.
Another example of a stupid mistake at work is walking across the worksite, without concentrating on where you’re going, causing trips and slips. In fact, a vast majority of injuries in construction sites are due to slips, strains and sprains.
Another main cause for injuries at the workplace is “Falls.” These falls aren’t usually from great heights. Workers who work at heights are extra conscious and take the necessary steps to be careful on the job. They attach themselves to safety harnesses, thereby preventing falls.
On the other hand, workers who work at just 10 to 20 feet above the ground become over-confident and so used to working at elevations that they fail to make use of safety harnesses. However, even a fall from a small height as 10 feet could prove to be fatal.
Another cause for stupid mistakes at work is forgetting to wear the right protective equipment. So, always make sure that your employees don the right gear while on the worksite – hard hats, eyewear, gloves are a must.
Ways to Avoid Stupid Mistakes at Work
If you’re a safety manager, then it’s your duty to educate employees that even low-risk tasks could be as dangerous (or even more dangerous) than the bigger hazards. Make sure to conduct frequent safety meetings with your employees to reinforce this.
Instruct employees to treat all hazards – big or small, with the same amount of precaution. Ensure that they stay focused on the task at hand. It’s easy to lose focus, especially while doing simple, repetitive tasks. To avoid complacency, you can try rotating the task among employees.
Finally, remind that to always follow these Golden Rules of Safety:
- Wear personal protective equipment at all times
- Follow instructions and never take safety shortcuts
- And, irrespective of the deadline or importance of the task, Safety always comes first
The Last Word
Here at Totalika, we believe that prevention is always better than cure. This is why, we insist on providing employees and employers with comprehensive safety trainings. Safety is a full-time job and if handled correctly, you can improve your productivity while boosting your bottom line.
Let’s all pledge to make the workplace safer and put an end to stupid mistakes at work. For further help on customizing a safety plan for your business, give us a ring at 0124 266 3021 or drop in a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to speak with our safety experts.