Your Situational Awareness and its Role in the Workplace

Being aware of your surroundings so that you can readily identify dangerous situations and identify possible threats could save your life. Situational awareness is useful in everyday life but has a practical application in the workplace. Maintaining this mindset could ensure that you return home with the same number of fingers and toes every night. Moreover, it could be the reason that you make it home at all.

Understanding Situational Awareness:

Situational awareness involves being aware of your immediate surroundings and the impact of your or other’s actions as it relates to the well-being of yourself and those around you. It requires the use of knowledge from experience and education in order to accurately assess and determine your level of safety. It is also important to acknowledge that each individual’s level of awareness may differ from your own when making an appraisal of your environment.

You should also remember that what you perceive as happening in your surroundings may not completely represent reality. How you read a situation could be easily influenced by distractions, personal experiences, and the quality of the type and level of information that you have been given.

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Win Your Next EHS Campaign by Losing a Few Battles

Preventing serious incidents may be the most important job of workplace health and safety professionals, but it’s not their only job. The frenzied pace of the job can erode critical focus.

Safety as a value
Workplace health and safety professionals are wired to think about safety as a value. Values are something people don’t readily compromise. Thinking broadly about safety as a value, it’s fair to say that everything safety-related seems pretty important. But when everything seems most important, it’s possible or even likely that petty concerns will be addressed with energy deserving of true concerns.

Priorities are needed within the overall safety effort. Risk-based decision making helps alleviate some anxiety people feel when deferring actions and investments. Still, it’s not always going to feel good re-prioritizing initiatives within an effort you hold dear.

Fighting for what matters most (prioritizing) will mean choosing to lose a few battles. That’s okay. It’s often worth losing a few battles to save the overall health and safety campaign.

For example, personal protective equipment programs can be a magnet for distractions from your primary objective.

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