Stupid mistakes. We’ve all made them on the job—some just more costly than others. Oftentimes, the stupid mistake is a task the worker is trained to do correctly, has performed hundreds of time, and knows better than to do.
So why do stupid mistakes happen? It’s not because a worker is dumb or doesn’t care or that they don’t know better. The main reasons workers make stupid mistakes are frequency and complacency. Let’s be honest: when we perform a task over and over, we get over-confident and tend to be complacent. We don’t really think about what we’re doing or the consequences of doing it wrong. We quit paying attention, and that’s when it happens.
Sleep deprivation is one factor that leads to stupid mistakes. Most workers today don’t get enough sleep—research shows that on average they get 20% less than a century ago—and that can affect workers in all aspects of the job, impacting their reaction time, decision-making ability, motor control, and basic situational awareness. Sleep deprivation actually increases a worker’s risk of death by up to 13%.
Stupid mistakes made by workers in the heat can easily lead to heat illnesses. Not taking the proper precautions when working in hot spaces can result in any number of potentially deadly illnesses, from heat rashes and heat cramps to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Falls are a leading cause of fatalities for construction workers, so the importance of ladder should never be underestimated. Workers tend to not view working on ladders as very hazardous, especially if they aren’t at great heights. Yet, research shows that falls from ladders account for 20% of injuries, causing anything from fractures and concussions to fatalities.
At OHC, we are always here to help with injuries that occur on the job site. But we believe prevention is the best cure. Let us work with you to create a safer workplace and eliminate those stupid mistakes.