A safe influence
Safety is a personal thing, says Gary A. Higbee, certified safety professional, SafeStart consultant and author of “Inside Out – Totally Rethinking Safety Management Paradigms.”
The Tree Care Industry EXPO keynote speaker illustrates his point with the story of teaching his daughter how to drive. One day she and some friends went to the mall. It was her first time driving on her own, and as she pulled out of the driveway, Higbee realized he had no control over how safe she was. He just had to hope that she listened and remembered everything he’d taught her.
“You have no control over your employees when it comes to safety,” he says. “The only thing you have on the jobsite is your influence. When you’re gone, that’s all you’ve got.”
Higbee says 97 percent of injuries are caused by human error – from something you didn’t mean to do such as not having your eyes on the task, not having your mind on the task, being in the line-of-fire and poor balance, traction or grip. He also explains that you can focus your reticular activation system.
“If you live near an airport, you never hear the noise,” he said. “Our reticular activation system prevents us from hearing because that takes up too much time and energy. Nothing bad ever happens because of the noise, so why bother thinking about it?”
He said the brain wants you to do things automatically and not have to think about it. “Habits don’t limit complacency; they compensate for it,” he says.