Addressing the Human Factor in Safety

You’ve written your safety plan.  You’ve trained employees on how to report and avoid injuries.  You’ve posted all of the signs and put out all of the cones.  You’ve crossed your “t’s” and dotted your “i’s” and yet you are still having problems with falls?  You wonder what could possibly be causing these issues!

Have you addressed the human factor in injury prevention?  SafeStart, a company dedicated to teaching employers how to prevent injuries, has published a guide called Solving Slips, Trips and Falls Once and for All: A Guide to Addressing Physical and Human Factors.  SafeStart believes that if human factors are ignored and not accounted for, injuries will keep on happening.  Human factors must be addressed and employees must be trained on how to control not only their bodies but their minds.

According to the guide, there are 4 employee states that can affect human factors in safety:

  • Rushing: Walking or moving too fast can easily put you in harm’s way. Slowing down and taking your time will help ensure safety.
  • Frustration: We have all been guilty of not making the best decisions when frustrated.  Sometimes we jump to an action because of something that has happened and don’t fully consider what harm acting out of frustration may cause.
  • Fatigue: Being physically or mentally tired can cause serious consequences.
  • Complacency: Feeling “ok” with just going through the motions of a work day and not being fully aware of your surroundings makes employees more lax when it comes to safety awareness.

Don’t ignore the human factor when it comes to slips, trips and falls.  SafeStart states “Human factors training encourages employees to take personal responsibility and build safety habits that, combined with company responsibilities, can drastically reduce the frequency of slip, trip and fall accidents.”  They say that by implementing “awareness, motivation, skills and habits” employees will greatly increase their own safety.  Train your employee’s minds to think safe, not only their bodies to act safe.

Information taken from: Solving Slips, Trips and Falls Once and for All: A Guide to Addressing Physical and Human Factors

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