Aug 22, 2012 / by Alisa Hafen / No Comments

We all have a natural tendency to want to be safe.

Put another way, psychologists say that normal individuals possess certain desires through which safety becomes appealing. These desires include:

• Avoiding personal injury
• Avoiding personal loss
• Reward seeking
• Striving for leadership
• Excelling
• Preventing injuries to others
• Avoiding making an unfavorable impression
• Avoiding punishment

It’s easy to recognize that all of these things do have safety appeal. However, let’s take a look at two of the more obvious ones, the desire to avoid personal injury and the desire to avoid personal loss.

Personal injury and personal loss are things we all want to escape, but many of us do little on our own to help avoid accidents that cause them. There are things that can be done on the job to help prevent painful incidents, particularly those caused by unsafe acts.

First of all, no matter how good we are at our job or how long we have been around, we can’t take safety for granted. We must always keep our personal guard up. When we let it down, we are exposing ourselves and others to accidents.

Second, we must take time to be safe.

We must not take a chance that an accident won’t happen this time. Taking shortcuts or not taking time to use a safety device is a quick way to get involved in an accident.

A third way to avoid unsafe acts is to form good working habits. There is a right way to do every job, and the right way is always the safe way. Accept the fact that accidents don’t just happen to the other guy, or at least be realistic enough to acknowledge that we are the other guy to everyone but us.

The awful truth is that accidents play no favorites. They can happen to anyone.

The people who compiled the list of personal desires that can be used to promote safety also suggested that there are certain character traits that can be stimulated to make us safety conscious.

Some of these traits are selfishness, ambition, compassion, pride, and a sense of responsibility, loyalty, imagination, and patriotism.

I guess we all have to be a little selfish, at least to the extent of wanting to keep ourselves safe, but certainly not at the expense of others.

A sense of responsibility to our families should certainly be an incentive to do our utmost to stay safe and do a good job.

Pride and ambition, when applied in the right way are also commendable traits. Pride in our work and a desire to get ahead always complement being safe.

In fact we are safe because of pride and ambition. We can’t keep a job and get the things we want out of life if we’re injured and unable to work.

Our safety program depends on everyone, so be sure to hold up your end of the effort. Be observant. Regularly attempt to spot hazards in advance and remember that anyone can spot a hazard after it has injured someone.

“Character is what emerges from all the little things you were too busy to do yesterday, but did anyway.” -Mignon McLaughlin