Perhaps the best safety tool to come along in industrial construction is the Field Level Risk Assessment (FLRA) or Job Hazard Analysis (JHA). Whatever you call it, this is a tool that makes everyone stop and think about the different risks associated with each task. Customarily, crews gather and write out the JHA or FLRA before performing a task and have found that this exercise greatly reduced the number and severity of injuries.
The same principle of these risk assessments can be done in our shops. Simply take a four-second reset. Take four seconds before starting a new, but familiar, task. The act of re-focusing for a mere four seconds has been shown to reduce the probability of an injury or incident by more than 90%! You may have done the task you are about to perform thousands of times before. In your mind, you know that you could do it with your eyes closed. But keep in mind, it is usually not the task itself but some small thing you did not anticipate that causes the incident.
This four second reset was first instituted on CN Rail as part of a strategy to reduce the number of serious incidents, including numerous injuries that required amputation. CN Rail found that employees knew the rule or procedure to do the job without getting injured but were simply not focused on the task at hand. Even well rested employees were getting caught up in the routine of the day and found themselves daydreaming or thinking about other things.
It is easy to imagine the different activities we do every day and how this applies. For example, getting in a forklift and having a quick look around. We change our thinking from where we are going to focusing on the area, road conditions, other vehicles and so on. This is the reset we are talking about and believe it or not, four seconds is all it takes. Get in this habit of taking four seconds and you will significantly reduce your chance of injury.