The Absence of Injury

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When we think of safety, do we immediately refer to the absence of injury?

Just because we have not been hurt in quite some time or have never been hurt, does this mean we are a safe employee? If we take chances and somehow get by, are we safe? If we fail to conduct workplace examinations or knowingly work at risk, but somehow avoid injury, are we safe?

The absence of injury does not indicate the presence of safety. We must look beyond our history to avoid becoming complacent. Sometimes we tend to develop an “it can’t happen to me” attitude. We don’t consider the fact that we can easily be involved in a workplace accident if we allow it to happen. If the incident rate is low, does this mean our safety controls are adequate? Numbers don’t always tell the whole story. When we place ourselves at risk and nothing happens, we are not working safely. In fact, we are forming habits that could be setting us up for an injury.

Ask yourself these questions, then decide for yourself if you are safety focused:

  1. Have you purposely placed yourself at risk in order to save time or to make a task a little easier?
  2. Have you started a task without looking the area over or considering the possibility of hidden hazards?
  3. Have you observed a co-worker working at risk and said nothing to intervene?
  4. Do you communicate risks or possible exposures with your co-workers?

When safety is first, it will be the first thing considered. We won’t take shortcuts, nor place ourselves at risk for any reason. We watch out for others and intervene when necessary.

We may have somehow gotten by with working at-risk, but now is the time to develop safe work habits, conduct frequent workplace examinations, and watch out for one other. If a co-worker is placing themselves at-risk, intervene. When we are completely safety-focused, we will speak up!

Please evaluate your work habits. There’s always room for improvement within all of us.


KEMI does not assume liability for the content of information contained herein. Safety and health remain your responsibility. This information is to be used for informational purposes only and not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for proper training, supervision or manufacturers’ instructions/recommendations. KEMI, by publication of this information, does not assume liability for damage or injury arising from reliance upon it. Compliance with this information is not a guarantee or warranty that you will be in conformity with any laws or regulations nor does it ensure the absolute safety of any person, place or object, including, but not limited to, you, your occupation, employees, customers or place of business.