Everyday we make a countless number of decisions. It all starts in the morning when we wake up to the alarm clock. Do you hit the snooze button or just get up? What pants and shirt will you wear? What will you eat for breakfast? What will you pack for lunch? Which route will you take when you drive into work? Where will you park?
Most of these decisions are made from habits that we form based on certain outcomes. If we take a route to work that allows us to have a faster commute, we probably make it a habit to use it everyday. If we have a positive outcome, we learn to repeat those decisions. If we have a negative outcome, then we usually learn from our mistakes and avoid repeating them.
Now let’s talk about decisions we make when we are in a hurry or distracted.
They are less conscious and less deliberate. They start to become reactionary to our environment. This is when we start to take shortcuts and deviate from the plans and the JHAs. This is when we make decisions that can affect our own safety and the safety of others. Keep this in mind today, when our workday becomes hectic.
… [The] impact of stress is increasingly becoming a focus of research: the impact of stress on decision-making. In 2012, an experiment showed that chronic stress biases human decision-making towards habits rather than goals .
Do you have a strong enough culture and a set of good habits to take charge and prevent bad decisions?
Part of making sure that your workers will make good decisions under stress is to train them properly.
How does training them properly correlate to less incidents? If you train them properly they are more likely to develop correct habits towards a specific area versus creating habits based off of a lack of information and education. If they build their habits correctly, their habits will serve them well and keep them safe when push comes to shove.
Realize that when we are under a deadline, our people will be dependent on their habits and culture to make the right decisions. Be responsible for your decisions and realize that sometimes you are just one bad decision away from an injury. Be conservative with your decisions and let’s make sure everyone is going home safe.