Safety habits can be either good or bad. You may have heard it said before about an individual, “They have poor safety habits,” or “They have good safety habits.” When supervisors, team leads, or co-workers don’t say something to someone who is performing an unsafe act, the action goes unchecked. The offender, either consciously or unconsciously, considers the action as acceptable behavior and will repeat and habitualize the action.
Until recently, it was common for companies to reward employees with cash, prizes, and awards based on lagging indicators of safety. In other words, they rewarded employees for keeping the number of accidents, incidents, and near misses low. These rewards were meant to give employees an incentive to perform their work safely.