How A Questioning Attitude Can Positively Impact Safety
Safety should always be a priority on a jobsite. Regardless of your position or role, looking out for safety hazards and understanding the overall goal is essential for creating a safe and efficient job. It is important to remember that a safety incident is never planned and always occurs on accident. Showing up with the correct equipment, briefs, and attitude will help you finish your task and avoid any safety hazards. Having a questioning attitude is not synonymous with doubting others and being arrogant. Instead, it is mindfulness that leads to situational awareness.
Have Wide Eyes
Having wide eyes and noticing what is going on around you leads to a questioning attitude. If you notice a tag on the wrong valve, a change in the environment or that a colleague that is not ready to go on the field, bringing awareness to the situation or asking questions can prevent a mistake or safety incident. Instead of mindlessly going about your duties, be on the lookout for ways you can do one more thing and go the extra mile to help the jobsite run smoothly. Situational awareness is key to a safe and productive workplace.
Ask Clarifying Questions
Avoiding complacency is a huge asset for any worker. Continually looking for ways a project, or your abilities, can be improved will not only help it run more efficiently, but it will also set your team up for success. While respecting your authority is key, do not feel as if you cannot think critically. If a task does not seem to make sense to you, and you have thought through the other alternatives, ask clarifying questions to determine if it is the best course of action. Groupthink can hinder a team from finding other ways to complete a task. If you see any red flags, voice your concerns.
Notice Warning Signals
More often than we would like, people continue with a task even after a warning signal. These can be subtle and do not shout “stop” but should be noticed and taken seriously. Words like “probably,” “maybe” and “we’ve always” may not always lead to the best situation. When warning signs occur, take a second to pause and evaluate the circumstances. A well-prepared worker will understand that taking the time to do a job correctly the first time, will save you time in the future. Just because a task has been completed one way in the past, does not mean it is the best option for the current or future jobs.
A questioning attitude can lead to a positive safety culture and can help prevent safety hazards along the way. With job sites continually evolving with new tasks, workers and equipment, it is important that you continue to have wide eyes to notice when something is out of place or incorrect. Asking questions can encourage your team to think critically and evaluate the best course of action. Noticing warning signals can help you prevent any mistakes that could happen. Safety hazards are real, but being proactive to prevent an incident is imperative to maintain an enjoyable and productive jobsite.