Keep Your Fellow Workers Safe in 2023

By Bob White, ROII Safety Services Director 
As we are entering a new year, it's the perfect time to think about the safety of your fellow coworkers. Spoiler alert! It keeps you safer, too.
It's easy to get distracted when you're busy on a jobsite. That's why I wanted to share one of my most popular safety topics: Five great reasons to watch out for others.

Increase awareness

When you keep an eye on other people's safety, your own safety awareness improves. We can see hazards that other people don't notice when they're focused on a job. This makes a much safer working environment for everyone.

Reduce distraction

Even the safest workers get distracted. Letting your mind drift to family, friends, vacation, hobbies, what's for lunch? All of these things can distract people from safe working practices. On a nice day, for example, your coworkers may be daydreaming about heading to the beach or hitting the links for a round of golf. Just like that, they're distracted from their work and might risk injuries. Watching out for your coworkers' safety can help prevent problems that could arise from distraction.

Combat cognitive failure

Every one of us can experience occasional cognitive failure. Think about when you're staring right at your keys but still can't find them. Even worse, there's that split second when you don't notice a car speeding along toward you on the road. These are both examples of cognitive failure. If this happens during a high-risk job, the consequences can be devastating. No one is absolutely perfect, and our concentration efforts can fail us at times. Even the best worker can fall prey to cognitive failure resulting in an opportunity to be injured.

No regrets

Imagine if you had a safety concern but didn't say something, then your coworker got hurt. Your failure to speak up could haunt you for a very long time, if not the rest of your life. Choosing to speak up if you see something potentially dangerous means you'll never have the nightmare of knowing you had the power to help change the outcome but failed to do so.

It's just the right thing to do

You may never receive a thank you for pointing out a safety risk. In fact, you might even face resistance– but it's simply the right thing to do. It's always better to be on the safer side on a job site.
If you are an ROII participant and would like to receive my regular safety updates, including ideas for safety topics, please contact me at (360) 352-7800 ext. 109 or bobw@biaw.com.

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