Feb 27 2018

Careless Mistakes

Careless mistakes. We all make them from time to time, some at home, on the road, or in some cases while on the job. These mistakes can also vary in severity, some minor while others can be exceedingly costly. Quite often we have found that the careless mistake is a task the worker has been properly trained to do, and has demonstrated countless hours of flawless execution- yet the mistake happens. How?!

Why do careless mistakes happen in our daily lives, and more importantly why do these costly mistakes occur in the workforce? Rarely do these mistakes arise because a worker simply is unintelligent, doesn’t care, or simply does not know any better. More likely, one of the reasons these mistakes occur are due to frequency and complacency. Often times when a task is performed over and over again, workers generally tend to become over-confident, complacent, and over-efficient. The tasks become rote and workers often no longer consciously think about what they may be doing or the consequences of doing it incorrectly. Essentially you quit paying attention, and therein lies the problem.

One of the factors leading to careless mistakes is workers not getting enough sleep. Research from the CDC shows that on average, workers are sleeping less than before. This lack of sleep in turn can affect any and all aspects of job performance such as reaction time, decision making abilities, motor control, situational awareness, and positive motivation to do well. Recommended sleep per night is at least 7 hours. Are you averaging this much sleep a night over the course of a week? The American Journal of Epidemiology shows that a sleep deprived worker increases their risk of injury or death by up to 13%. That’s a serious consequence for a careless mistake!

One example would be complacency with use of ladders. In general, workers do not view ladders as a very hazardous endeavor, especially if the ladders are not used for great heights. Yet, research from bls.gov/opub and bls.gov/news shows that falls account for 27% of occupational injuries, causing anything from concussions, broken bones, and even fatalities. Always being mindful of potential consequences is important!

At TRS Wellness we are available to assist with jobsite injury when it does occur. But, we strive to eliminate workplace injury through prevention, ergonomic intervention, and personal health training and education. Help us to create a safer workspace and eliminate those careless mistakes!