Safety is a State of Mind: The Emotional Aspect of Safety




Your employees are continually working around hazardous conditions. Hazard identification and communication is the key to any successful safety performance. However, there is an emotional side to safety as well. In order to promote a safe workplace there are many things to consider outside of physical hazards:



  •         Emotional factors (sad, angry, too happy, upset, afraid).
  •         Too many things to do, too many demands on our time.
  •         Family concerns
  •         Health concerns, sleepiness


          Each of these things affect our ability to focus at work. What are some of the things you can do to improve emotional safety? Here are a few items that you can work on yourself to improve           your performance:

·            Exercise –reduces the cortisol (cortisol can shrink the brain), increases blood flow, reduces risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's.

·            Affection & Socializing -- family and friends

·            Nutrition – feed your brain –- balanced diet plus fish

·           Change…boring is bad, your mind likes to mix it up!

·           Positive outlook -- attitude is everything.

·          Proper sleep

While at work, certain conditions can decrease your safety awareness:


·        Task Inattention: a brief lapse of attention – but we know when we do it. A momentarily tuning out, happens in familiar settings and causes near-misses.

·        Zoning Out: We go through the motions but are not fully aware, the light turns green, we go with the flow but not consciously. Or…we read but don’t register the words.

·        Complete Mind-wandering: the light turns green and we need a honk from behind to startle us into reality.


Safety is not a joke. Not only do you need to be aware of your surroundings, you need to keep your head in the game as well. 


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