The Enemy of Safety is Complacency

Author: Charter

Complacency: self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies – Merriam Webster, full definition

During our most recent Town Hall we discussed how Charter has developed a culture of innovation and continuous improvement. While this sentiment is often associated with ways to save project time and money, it is even more crucial when it comes to safety.

As soon as complacency with regards to safety sets in, so does the increased danger of injury. Having the mentality of “this is the way I’ve always done it, and I haven’t gotten hurt yet” is one safety cannot afford. Simply dialing it in while performing a task you deem as routine only opens up the possibility of injury, both to yourself and those around you.

In construction, allowing yourself to become content with safety standards can become deadly. Even when working on the same job site, environments are constantly changing as the project progresses; a skipped equipment check or forgetting to reevaluate your surroundings, can lead to major injuries.

So how can we battle the ever-threatening attitude of complacency?  The best way to tackle this issue is as a team. Regular reminders, such as meetings at the start of a work day, can help bring safety to the front of people’s minds as they set out for the day’s work. Observe other’s actions. This will not only heighten your own awareness of safety but your coworker’s as well. Sharing these observations with the entire team will make other’s conscientious of the same or similar issues, even on other job sites.

While complacency is not the only factor that can hinder safety, it is unique in that we don’t often think about it. Schedule and regulatory issues are factors that are typically easy to spot and take corrective measures on to avoid safety problems. This is why looking for ways to steadily enhance safety throughout Charter is vital. Staying observant and vigilant allows us to fight complacency, making every job, and more importantly every employee, safer.

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employees receiving equipment instruction

About the Author


As a company constructed to positively impact natural and built environments, we empower our people to seek fresh solutions. It's a philosophy that's delivered success to some of the most complex, highly visible projects in our region & beyond.

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