Being Observant On The Job Safety Talk

August 23, 2021
By N. Nicholas, ASP
Being Observant On The Job Safety Talk

Being observant on the job is another important safety attitude.

It can be a life-saver!

We all need to pay attention to what is going on around us at all times and not let distractions get in the way.

There are many ways for us to improve our ability to be observant, but it does require a change in our habits. Changing habits will take time and practice, but just like anything else worthwhile doing, it is worth making an effort.

The most effective way of improving our ability or being observant when working with others is by LISTENING CAREFULLY when they are talking about their work.

Whether it’s one person or many people gathered together during a “safety meeting.”

If we really listen carefully to what is being said without letting our minds wander, or if we are in a noisy area and cannot hear very well, it will help us know when there may be something going on around us that we need to pay attention to. This ability comes with practice.

Another way of improving our ability to be observant is by challenging ourselves by setting goals for ourselves regularly.

Before starting any job or project, decide what your goal is and then focus all your energy on achieving that goal as quickly and efficiently as you can manage.

Avoid getting side-tracked into doing unnecessary tasks which waste time, distract you from the goal you set for yourself and also prevent you from doing a good thorough job on a project.

The habit of being observant needs to become a way of life, something we always do no matter what.

When we take all the necessary steps and practice often while working alone and with other people, it will become much easier to be observant and thus more likely that our chances of being injured on the job will decrease considerably.

Prevention is always better than cure! Let’s all make a decision now to be more observant. It will pay off in many ways the longer you continue this important safety attitude.

How to Improve on Being Observant at Work to improve workplace safety

To improve workplace safety by making yourself more observant, you can do the following:

1. Make a habit of listening carefully to others when they talk to you about their work.

Listen attentively and without distractions around you (e.g. mobile phone, etc.). When someone is talking to you with two or more persons present, listen carefully and try your best to understand what each person is trying to say. This is will avoid you missing any information which could be important later on when working alone.

2. Think it through

Think before jumping into projects, even if these are fun tasks; have a plan first and then adhere strictly to that plan.

3. Try your best to not get distracted

Try to avoid getting yourself distracted by outside influences such as other people’s conversations, noises in your mind from past experiences, emotions that are coming up like anxiety or anger, which may cause a distraction.

Being distracted can be dangerous if you react impulsively without thinking first of possible consequences.

Being observant is one important attitude because it keeps us safe at work in many ways. It’s about focusing on what we do no matter where we are, who we are with, while keeping out thoughts and emotions under control.     

4. Find out what your goal is before starting work

Take the appropriate steps to achieve that goal as quickly and efficiently as you can manage safely.

However, avoid getting side-tracked into doing unnecessary tasks which waste time, distracts you from the goal and also prevent you from doing a good thorough job on a project.

5. Above all else, do not rush through your tasks!

A hurried attitude will cause errors or accidents when being observant at work . Don’t hurry; take your time and be patient with yourself while working hard. Mistakes can be fixed later if done properly.

It’s better to do things slowly, correctly the first time than have to fix mistakes later due to rushing.

6. Be aware of your surroundings on the job and use them to your advantage.

Use things like doors, walls, file cabinets as protection from being hit by moving objects around you (e.g. people pushing trays of items in a cafeteria), be alert when using stairs or ladders, while walking along corridors etc.

7. Make sure that you know where all exits are available for use if there is an emergency at work

Try to make it a habit to check exits before entering into any building or room where you may have to remain for long periods of time with other people.  

8. Ask if you’re not sure

When someone tells you something important about what they are doing or how they do something, pay close attention and ask questions. If anything is unclear always ask for clarification.

9. Be aware of the various safety rules that apply at your workplace.

Learn these safety rules by heart if possible so they become second nature to you.

This will help minimize accidents or injuries which are likely to occur. Learn important things such as wearing hard hats, when it’s safe to use machinery, stairways with railings, using handrails on ladders and much more.

Remember! Being alert and vigilant can prevent accidents and injuries in the workplace.

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