Every day before our work begins, we should go through some type of process to evaluate the work for the day as well as the associated hazards. This process can include a self-check as well as a work area inspection and inspection of tools or equipment. During this process, a main objective should be identifying hazards so that you can take steps to eliminate or mitigate the hazards found. One useful question to ask yourself before a work task begins is: “What can hurt me?”
Asking this Question as a Tool
Sure, it may seem very dark and negative to ask yourself this right as your workday is starting or when starting a new work task, but it can be the difference in recognizing the hazard that could injure you or someone else that day. Asking this question should trigger you to stop and really look around your work area and consider what dangers you are dealing with. Identifying uncontrolled hazards should be a top priority before starting any work task. Taking ownership of these hazards and seeing them through to get corrected is necessary for a safe workplace.
Taking Ownership of Mitigating Hazards
Identifying hazards is not worth much if you do not see it through that they are properly addressed. Even if you spot something and make a mental note to avoid that hazard, it could seriously injure someone else in the area. Take the time and energy to properly mitigate the hazard so not only will you not be affected by it, but also your coworkers will not be either.
While a positive mindset and attitude are important for success in the workplace, asking yourself critical questions such as “what can hurt me today?” can trigger you to take the extra time to really evaluate a work task. Take ownership of hazards in your work area and see them through so that they get fixed. After all, you never know what safeguard or action may make the difference in preventing an injury.