At Berg, we face a high paced and rapidly changing work environments. Having or lacking situational awareness can determine whether or not an accident occurs in almost all scenarios.

It is important that you know how many problems you face and how serious they are. The temporary loss or lack of situational awareness is a casual factor in many accidents. Often there is so much ‘going on’ in your work environment, or you become so absorbed in your own thoughts, that you fail to spot those things that could pose a serious threat to your health and safety. Our situational awareness can be further reduced in times of high workload or when under pressure to get a job done on time. In these situations, it is essential to maintain a high level of situational awareness to stop accidents and near misses.

Assessment of your working environment should occur continually, but especially in the following situations:

  • When beginning work on a new project/contract/customer location.
  • When you think the work environment has changed since your last time there.
  • When working with new or different workmates.
  • Before complacency has set in-it can be a silent killer!

Get into the habit of regularly pausing to make a quick mental assessment of your working area. This should certainly be done at the beginning of a new project, when the work environment has changed, when working with new people, and before complacency gets a chance to set in. When doing so, consider the following:

• Is there anything around you that is a threat
to your, or anybody else’s, health and safety?
• Can you reduce that threat in a safe manor so
that you can carry on working safely?
• If you can’t, should you stop working because
of that threat?
If you see a hazard or spot an unsafe act, don’t turn a blind eye – Deal with the situation and/or report it to your supervisor.

Situational awareness is important to everyone – it is important that everyone is aware of their surroundings and the potential hazards they face. It is important that each individual is looking out for his or her own safety as well as looking out for their workmates. Remember that we all want to go home safely the way we came to work safely.