There are many hazards in our workplaces and at home that can cause great harm if exposed to them. So much time, effort, and money is spent by companies to train their employees to be able to recognize hazards in an attempt to prevent injuries from occurring. While it is often thought that new employees of a company who may not understand the hazards of the job are most at risk for injury, a case can also be made for those experienced employees who have become complacent with the hazards of their work. A question to consider: Which are more dangerous- the hazards we recognize or the ones we do not?
The Dangers of Unrecognized Hazards
Unrecognized hazards create a huge risk for injury on the job. Failure to be able to recognize hazards can result in exposure to every employee in a work area where the hazard is present. A huge goal in return for the time spent discussing safety in the workplace is to improve employees’ abilities in hazard recognition. The thought process being, if employees are able to recognize hazards they can take action to protect themselves and others from them. That being said, it is important to consider those employees who have been on the job a long time and recognize the hazards of their work however may not take the necessary action in mitigating the hazards due to becoming complacent or comfortable with the risk associated with them.
Complacency with the Recognized Hazards of Our Work
Workers in their positions for a long time understand the majority of the hazards of their work. Experienced workers have sat through countless hours of safety trainings and have many hours of on the job which allows them to recognize the hazards of their work. However, with this experience can also bring complacency towards taking risks for these workers. Those employees who have been on the job for a long time can be desensitized to the gravity of the hazards around them. Working around hazards for a long period of time without any negative consequences occurring can create a false sense of security which in turn can lead to an employee to be more willing to put themselves in the line of fire. This is often the case when time pressures or pressure for production, even if it is just self-imposed pressure, is present.