Complacency can affect all levels of a company. On the floor, workers may become overly comfortable in their positions. This can lead to inattention and to injuries. Management can also become complacent, especially if too much emphasis is placed on the company safety record. As a supervisor, it’s easy to become complacent. We are often bombarded with high priority tasks, so we expect our workers to perform as they have been trained. To counter the effects of complacency, there are three things a front line supervisor can do.
It is extremely important for supervisors to monitor their workforce for signs of complacency. Supervisors know their staff better than anyone and should be able to identify when workers become too comfortable or overconfident.
Supplement Group Training With Individual Assistance
A supervisor’s job is to ensure that the group training is reflected in individual on-the-job situations. You must make the training immediately relevant to the workers. Any time a worker is found to be performing a task contrary to the safety training, the supervisor must address it on the spot. Individual work instructions are very effective when delivered immediately in response to an unsafe work practice.
Supervisors are accustomed to receiving instruction from higher level management and disseminating the information among the workers. However, communicating safety needs from workers to managers is a great way to fight complacency as well. Notifying management of unsafe conditions keeps everyone focused on safety. Just remember to follow up with both the management and the worker(s) involved. Workers want to know that their supervisors truly are concerned with their individual well-being, and managers are people, too; they may forget or get sidetracked.
Anyone can become complacent at work. Front line supervisors are in an excellent position to provide the individual attention needed to keep workers and management focused on workplace safety, while working together to achieve other profitable company objectives.