Everyone talks about safety and how to prevent unsafe act in the work environment but in most of the safety talk, a vital issue is rarely talked about. It is noted that if an unsafe act occurs, management sometimes narrowly consider the issue of wrong use of the right equipment or sometimes natural occurrence but forgets to take into consideration the mindset attitude of the worker at that moment the unsafe act occurred. I think it is high time management takes into consideration the mindset attitude of a worker at site before issuing a worker the permit to work. And also during tool box meetings, it should be an everyday’s topic for the workforce to develop the right mindset attitude which in itself will go a long way to minimize the occurrence of unsafe act in the work environment. I believe we all know that the right mindset at any time is what triggers the right attitude which in turn, brings about the ultimate output that contributes to positive performance in the work place.
What Is The Mindset Attitude?
Before defining this, let us take a look at the definitions of Mindset and Attitude. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines Mindset as, “A fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person's responses to and interpretations of situations”. While it also defines Attitude as, “A state of mind or a feeling or way of thinking that affects a person's behavior”. Looking at these definitions, we can rightly say that the Mindset attitude is what triggers our response to any given situation based on our emotional feeling which has to do with our mood at any particular given time. Rightly, how you response to a situation is your mindset and your attitude towards the response is what actually manifest outside for others to see.
The Mindset Attitude Of A Worker
Now, relating the mindset attitude to safety in our work environment, we may be tempted to conclude that it takes the right mindset attitude to minimize unsafe act at work place which is very right. But the problem is, how do we develop the right mindset attitude at all time that will bring about safety considering the fact that the man at the centre of it all, (the worker) is influenced positively or negatively by what I would rather term the “3 Major Mindset Attitude Factors” which consist of:
The Home — [Wife, Children, Father, Mother, Brothers, Sisters, Extended families].
The Work — Environment [Boss, Supervisor, Coworkers].
The Peer Group — [Friends].
What Brings About A Wrong Mindset Attitude
At the centre of these 3 major mindset attitude factors as previously discussed is the worker. It should be noted that every mindset attitude of a worker is influenced by the above listed factors around him. These factors can either bring about a positive or negative output in the work environment. One of the major problems that contribute negatively and affects the mindset attitude of the worker is the wrong use of words by any member of these factors.
If the people at home; work environment and peer group, treats the worker with the right usages of positive words and not negative words, the mindset attitude of the worker will be at his best to perform his duties. But where what the worker gets from those around him is constant nagging and complains. Sincerely, that will affect his mindset and can contribute to the outcome of an unsafe act when carrying out a critical assignment which has to do with safety. Because at that state, the mind has lost focus and is beaming with unstable emotion. Remember the negative words you use on a person have a major impact on that person’s mindset attitude and mood at that time.
How A Worker Can Develop The Right Mindset Attitude
Since a worker cannot avoid these listed 3 factors, he needs to be at his best because if anything unsafe act occurs, the person that will be at a greater risk, is the worker. In developing the right mindset attitude, the worker should take into consideration these listed points:
- Strive for Optimism. Having a positive attitude is something you should strive for. It isn’t something you are or are not, it is something you become.
- What company do you keep? Do your friends have negative attitudes? Does it rub off on you? Many times the company we keep can affect our attitudes. If your group at work or home negatively affects your attitude, take the necessary steps to change the situation. If all else fails, change the people around.
- When you know you need a Change. When you know you aren't happy, admit it to yourself and take action to reverse it. This is a very difficult thing to do especially when you aren’t in the mood to admit things to yourself. It may be hard, but it is worth it. When you are negative, realize it and change it.
- What Makes You Happy? When you know what makes you upset, you will be able to avoid these situations and save yourself the tension and frustration they bring. If it is a situation that you cannot avoid, learn how to make the best of it. This is vital to your attitude and mood. Your “happy” buttons will serve to improve your attitude again and again.
- Appreciate the Things You Have. Look around you and learn to appreciate everything you have in your life. Your family, friends, career, home, food, car, etc., is enough to create a positive attitude because no matter how bad things get in life, we still must be thankful for everything we still have. Put things into perspective, and enjoy the good things in your life.
- Think Twice before you Act Once. Look at problems logically. When you let emotion take over, you may do things that made sense at the time, but in the end were not the best choices. Before you act, think about what your action(s) will cause. If a person does something wrong that negatively affects you, don’t attack. Think about the best response. Only after you have done this twice should you take action.
- React VS. Respond. These two words are the difference between a happy, enthusiastic, positive person and a sad, frustrated, negative person. When anything happens in life that affects you, both directly and indirectly, respond to the situation. This means you think about it, use reason to find a solution, and take the appropriate measures. When you react, you skip the reasoning stage and do what comes naturally in the moment. This only serves to cause more problems and frustration. Respond, do not react!
Lastly, according to research, the right mindset attitude is what makes our life 100% truth taken into consideration the 26 alphabets and their numeric numbers; it is only the right mindset attitudes that will give us 100% not even hard-work, knowledge, love, luck, money or leadership. Sincerely, every problem has a solution; that is only if we perhaps change our mindset attitude. It is our mindset attitude towards life and work that makes our life 100% and it is the same that will bring about a positive change which in turn will minimize the occurrence of unsafe act in our work environment. To work safely, you have to change your mindset attitude and be at your best all the time.
[“The Mindset Attitude to Safety in the Place Work Environment”, Is the Paper I presented at Chevron Nigeria Limited Onshore East Contractors Monthly Safety Meeting. December 27, 2013].