Safety is a familiar concept to us all. We read safety reports before we buy a car, instruct our children to wear bicycle helmets and buckle our seat belts in the car. We are surrounded by safety labels on everything from plastic bags to hair dryers. But how often do we talk about safety in our workplace, where we spend one-third of our adult lives?
Work is progressing as usual. There is a very busy work day ahead with at least one hundred things to do before it ends. The time is 0600, then 1600. Time flies by and the work activity correspondingly increases to meet commitments. Hands are on the current task, but the mind is elsewhere, perhaps on the long list of things to get accomplished or perhaps on the family plans that evening. Suddenly, the unthinkable happens. There it is: an almost. A near miss. Your heart is racing.
Whenever I try to better understand why accidents happen, I think back to my days in quality control, when I kept a “Would-you-believe” file of all the ways a product could be ruined or compromised during the manufacturing process.
We constantly are bombarded daily in news reports with vehicular accidents, violence and workplace accidents and can’t help but ask, “How could that happen?”
Despite laws and safety rules aimed at preventing these events, they continue to happen all too frequently. Where can we turn for guidance?
Radar “sees” things long before they can be seen with the naked eye. It serves as both an early warning and a tracking device for military and civilian purposes. We all have a personal radar that we actively need to use to warn us of things that can pose a threat to our safety.
No one intentionally wants to injure themselves, but we often don’t fully utilize our personal radar to see hazards, opening the door to near-misses and accidents.