Distractions leading to worker injuries — beyond the vehicle

Distracted driving continues to be a problem on the highways, but researchers are investigating how distraction on the job (away from the vehicle) is affecting injury rates and contributing to safety problems in other types of environments.

The National Safety Council recently ran an article on this phenomenon titled “Distracted on the job — Identifying and Minimizing Worker Distractions can help reduce injuries”  A link to the full article is HERE.

The “key points” made by the article include:

  • Deadlines and pressure to meet production goals are some of the biggest on-the-job distractions, experts say.
  • Allowing short breaks and empowering workers to speak up when they observe distractions can help mitigate the problem.
  • Although employees may pay more attention to the job at hand and are able to better minimize distractions shortly after a near miss or a workplace incident, experts warn this will eventually fade.

Complacency is one of the culprits that can drive up injury rates, and the article covers tips to combat these distractions through breaks and other means.

The Wall Street Journal also produced a short video covering office distraction leading to lost productivity.  While the discussion is mainly about the office environment, the issues raised could affect people in a wide range of jobs and positions. (http://on.wsj.com/VS70iN)

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