Five dangerous behaviors repeatedly appear in the accident reports that OSHA tracks. In Part 1, we identified rushing as one and failing to verify as another. Here are three more behaviors to take note of:

  1. Failing to communicate. Don’t let “what we have here is a failure to communicate” be your line. It was great in the movie Cool Hand Luke, but it can be deadly on the job (actually it wasn’t so good for Paul Newman’s character either). Practice active listening; don’t dismiss people’s comments or guess at their meaning. Get specific feedback to ensure you’re understood. Don’t assume you’re understood just because someone nods.
  2. Ignoring safety instructions. Diligently use checklists, work procedures, posted signs, product labels, and Safety Datasheets. Incident reports show that injuries often happen due to a failure to understand and follow the instructions in these safety information resources.
  3. Failing to be purposefully alert. If you find your attention wandering, take a break. Actively look, listen, and smell for signs of danger.