In Safety Briefing No. 10 we saw three ways people wrongly diminish the risk.
Here are another four case study examples of wrongly diminishing the risk:
- A parent left the home at 3.30pm to collect children from school. Unfortunately, a driver in front of her stopped abruptly. They had a bump and the parent’s two front teeth were knocked out. The parent did not put on the seat belt because the school was just around the corner.
Is the distance relevant? No! The mental excuse is “it’s not a real journey – just a short run around the corner.”
- You feel there is a strong chance that someone may get hurt if you go ahead with a job the way your supervisor has proposed. You proceed but decide to be extra careful when doing the job.
What does “extra careful” mean? Being careful is good but surely if you have to be extra careful something is wrong! Kidding yourself you can be “extra/very careful” gives you (so you think) “permission” to go ahead even though you know you should not.
- Two deckhands were asked to remove 70 sheets (4’ x 4’) of stainless steel out of an engineering room and prepare them for lift the next morning. They were worried about this task because the total weight of the sheets was about 0.75 tonnes and the usual half-height container was not available. So, to enable the bundling and slinging, they stacked the sheets vertically against a container because they had done it this way a hundred times before. They did not do a lifting plan because they were not lifting the sheets – they were just preparing them for lift. C
Can you see two instances of WRONGLY diminishing the risk? Even if we have done something 100 times before, it may be the 101st that hurts us. Each time is different. Notice the trick about lifting. Also, what is the difference between preparing for a lift and actually lifting? Surely the preparation is part of the lift.
- Although you know it is unsafe, you stand on a chair to change a light bulb in the ceiling because it will only take a minute.
Is the time of your exposure to a hazard relevant? NO! Can you fall off and break your neck in a minute? YES!!
So, remember – listen for people saying, “it’s only”, it’s just”,” we’ll do something later”, “we’ve done it 100 times” and “be extra careful”. When you hear these phrases stop and ask why?
As always, your feedback is very welcome. If there are any topics you’d like covered in future Safety Briefings, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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