Work Site Safety 101: Are Your Workers Distracted?

Toa55 at freedigitalphotos.netScaffolding accidents, slips and falls, and falling debris—these are among the most common accidents in industrial sites. Although these incidents often happen due to incorrect tool preparation or lack of proper site cleaning and maintenance, one of the major causes of accidents is distractions.

As a site manager, you are responsible for the safety of your workers. You should be able to identify possible distractions and plan solutions to reduce such incidents. Here are the most common distractions workers encounter and action plans you can do to minimise risks:

Lack of Attention

Accidents in work sites are often the result of mental distractions. Your workers may be worrying about personal problems or talking to another co-worker while performing tasks. They may be using chemicals and other harmful substances while they think about what is for lunch. They may be working on scaffolding without realising they forgot to put protective gear on.

To avoid accidents related to these distractions, experts from say it is helpful to put eye-catching safety tags in strategic areas to keep them reminded of risk management practices. You can also talk to your employees directly and address these concerns.

Heavy Equipment

Heavy equipment and those monstrous machines are also a major source of distraction for employees. This is why it is important to remind workers about safe distance from equipment, electrical circuits and slip/fall hazards.

Hold safety-training programs for your workers. Your seminars may focus on aspects like fall prevention, proper inspection of equipment, chemical hygiene, spill prevention, etc. You may also distribute safety manuals and checklists during your training.

Loud Music

Because of the stress at work, many workers choose to listen to music for relaxation. Sometimes the upbeat songs can kick their productivity up. Although music has these benefits, it can also cause distractions and eventually lead to accidents.

If listening to music while working cannot be avoided, make safety regulations about it. Tell workers to listen to music only when they are away from the work site or if it does not affect their concentration while working with equipment.

As the manager, you are responsible for promoting safety in the work site. Keep an eye out for these three big sources of distraction and plan appropriate actions to minimise accidents.

About the Author

As a psychology professor at a university in Texas. Athrun also teaches at a personality development institute in the same state.