Vets see safety as sign of competence, but …

by on November 27, 2012 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Workplace Safety Network

There’s solid takeaway for all of us from a recent study of physicians whose levels of experience showed a marked difference in attitudes toward safety:

  • Experienced doctors tended to view safety mistakes as signs that the doctor hadn’t done his job properly.
  • Junior doctors fresh from medical school tended to blame safety mistakes on hospital management putting performance targets ahead of patient safety.

Bottom line: Excuse-making may be endemic to the young, when people may feel overwhelmed. But the good news is they grow out of it as they improve their trade skills.

Action steps: When you hear younger- or less-experienced workers’ complaining or putting the blame on something else, look as much for improving their job skills as safety skills.

It also helps to have a “no excuses” policy. Have supervisors explain how to do the job safely. And remind them that as they improve their job skills, their safety skills will improve with it.

Source: Turner, Nick, et al., “Job Demands-Control-Support model and employee safety performance,” In press: Accident Analysis and Prevention.

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