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A safety meeting in a nutshell

RISK TAKING

Note to the Discussion Leader: This safety talk is designed to increase employees' awareness of the potential dangers involved with risk taking, and to determine why we take these risks.

Risk takers are not just skydivers or mountain climbers. People take risks every day. People in a hurry, not paying attention, who have become complacent because they have been lucky. They continue with behaviors that they believe are everyday activities, but which involve taking unnecessary risks.

What risks do you see taken in the workplace today? Possible answers include:

Let's review the reasons people take risks.

Time

Many people take risks when they believe it will save time. If you are late for work, you may drive 10 miles per hour over the limit. If you are running behind at work, you may leave the guard off the machine to make adjustments quicker. Every time we take these risks and get away with it, the warning signs lose effectiveness.

Peer pressure

How many times have we taken a shortcut because someone else is doing the same thing, and we don't want to look as if we're afraid. We also often take risks when someone is watching and waiting for us to complete a task because they need us to finish in a hurry.

Complacency

Have you heard these lines?

Personality

Personality may be one of the strongest factors involving risk taking. Certain individuals feel the need to experience the excitement they get from risky hobbies. Others exhibit risky behavior in their personal lives, such as smoking, excessive drinking and unprotected sex.

Financial

Unfortunately, for some people, risk taking is a trade-off."I know I need new tires on my car, but I can't afford them right now."Alternatively,"I know we are supposed to wear safety shoes, but I can't afford them." For some people, risk taking is not an option.

Conclusion

Risky behavior occurs for many reasons. The key is evaluating the risk, our personal reasons for taking risks and, then, determining if it is really worth it. So, think twice; it's not worth the risk.

"TO DO" LIST:

Review this information with all employees, especially parts and service technicians...and document training session.

Consider initiating a safety incentive plan to encourage proper use of safety equipment and good habits. Refer to FastFacts #3517.

Be a good role modelódonít take unnecessary risks yourself.

Quiz

Circle the correct answers.

1. Everybody takes certain calculated risks every day. True or False

2. "Because I have always done it this way" is a reasonable excuse to take a risk. True or False

3. All of the following are reasons that people take unacceptable risks except:

            A. Saving time;

           B. Peer pressure;

           C. Unaware of hazards;

           D. Because they want to remain safe and healthy.

 

4. People may take more risks at home than at work because: 

            A. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and company safety provisions do not apply at home;

            B. Supervisors or foreman are not present to assure safe practices at home;

            C. Neither A nor B is true;

            D. Both A and B are true.

5. All risks are unacceptable. True or False

Answers: 1.T, 2.F, 3.D, 4.D, 5. F

-- from the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation Safety Leaders Discussion Guide