Structure Tone: Fighting Complacency in our Risk Assessments

December 14, 2019/by Barry Nelson

Every task that we perform at home or at work involves some kind of risk. It’s easy to grow complacent to everyday risks. For example, when you drive to work or home, you sometimes forget how you got from point A to point B. Our mind goes on cruise control because we’ve done something a specific way 1,000 times. This can potentially get us into trouble, resulting in mistakes, and possibly even causing accidents and injuries.

Our trade groups and projects are no different. Think about it. Do we really take the time to focus on how we assess risk? Here at StructureTone, we utilize safety huddles and Job Hazard Analyses (JHA)s to plan work. But these meetings are only effective if the audience is “switched on” and ready to receive the message. To improve effectiveness, I use a few simple techniques from FactorLab. You can watch this quick 3-minute video, or read my summary below.

  1. Ask questions first – Starting with questions to your audience gets people engaged, and engagement reduces injuries.
  2. Move around – If you move during safety huddles your brain is forced to pay attention. Walk as you speak, or use gestures or props.
  3. Mix it up – Have others participate or speak. This creates trust and buy-in to safety. Others ideas can also help reduce exposures.

Here’s to fighting complacency and creating more effective safety huddles and risk assessments for everyone!