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The Habit of Safety

By definition, safety professionals are responsible for controlling exposure to risk. As a result, they tend to focus their efforts on establishing procedures, engineering solutions and other controls designed to restrict workers’ risk exposure. At their best, these systems are logical, comprehensive and operate with a clock work-like efficiency. However, the people operating within them often do not work in the same way.

Employee behavior is influenced by various factors, some of which can compromise how people perform within a safety system. No matter how rigorous the safety system, human behavior can short-circuit almost any safety feature. More rules will not prevent behavioral fluctuations, because to follow these rules employees would have to be rational actors 100% of the time, which they are not.

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