Get people to see what’s around them with fresh eyes

by on March 17, 2015 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Workplace Safety Network
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In a recent memory study, workers were asked to find the nearest fire extinguisher. One executive, for the first time, noticed that he had a fire extinguisher outside of his office door — and he’d had the office for years. But the fire extinguisher wasn’t important, so the executive’s attention filtered it out.

Breaking down the filters is an important part of safety training. Conduct regular drills that make it important for workers to see what they’ve been filtering out. Three examples:

  1. Identify your first, second, and (if possible) third choices for an emergency exit.
  2. Identify the nearest eye-wash station, the nearest fire extinguisher, and the emergency stop buttons for all nearby equipment.
  3. Identify the three people around you who are most at risk for injury – and identify what might be done in an emergency.

Take home: People naturally filter out what’s not important immediately to them. Then in an emergency, they don’t remember what they need to know. Regularly practice giving workers specific questions so they can see what’s around them with fresh eyes.

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