Combating Safety Complacency in the Workplace

Posted by
Lance Roux
on Sep 9, 2014

Working and building on new house project


One of the biggest problems faced in the midst of completing day-to-day tasks on the job is complacency.


Employees become accustomed to doing things in a certain way or tasks flowing a certain way and grow oblivious to the hazards that may be ever-present around them.  This type of state of mind can affect many things including productivity, quality, and safety.

Safety complacency in the workplace leads to injuries and can be a literal killer on the job. All too often workers do not realize how complacent they actually have become until they have a near miss or close call; such events tend to jumpstart hearts and refocus proper attention, at least for a little while, to the importance of tasks at hand.

With complacency in the workplace, there is a sense of numbness that develops to hazards. The employer should be on guard to the onset of complacency in the workplace.

Some tips for employers to curb complacency on the job are:

  1. Share the Mission

    Remind employees of the company’s purpose and goals so they maintain a connection to the larger missions and emphasize that their behaviors have an impact. Be alert for signs of complacency and familiarise themselves with all safety procedures.
  1. Avoid Routines

    Repetition can be related to complacency, if possible change up some of the tasks required to add variety to an employee’s job.
  1. Encourage Observation

    Have employees briefly stop work and observe the actions of others as they work, observing others raises one’s own awareness as well as the awareness of co-workers 
  1. Correct Poor Performance

    Mentoring programs and coaching help employees identify, and change troubling practices and potential problems.


Top 5 Tips for Reducing New Employee Injuries

Bringing in someone from outside the organization can often help because they'll more easily notice things that your in-house staff who work there every day may miss.

To learn more about Safety Compliance and how a Safety Consultant can help you, see our information and services pages:

Safety Compliance

Construction Safety Management 

Safety Management Systems

Click below to get our free 10-point Safety Checklist!


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Tags: Behavior Based Safety, Accidents, Compliance

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