Rushing is human nature

  • It’s human nature to want to get a job done as quickly as possible
  • Getting a task done in a hurry gives you:
    • the ability to start your next task sooner
    • in some cases, more time to do other things that may be more enjoyable
  • Many of us also grew up being told that it’s important to accomplish as much as we can
  • But what we often aren’t told is that rushing can result in accidents, errors, and more time spent in the long run. We need to do our jobs correctly and safely

Injuries due to time pressure are most often the result of a conscious or semi-conscious decision on the worker’s part to circumvent a known preventative measure to a known safety hazard in the interest of getting the task done on time or rushing to keep ahead of a process following close behind.

Being rushed can distract your attention from hazards you would normally recognize.

Apart from personal safety concerns, rushing can result in property damage, the need to redo a task you thought was already done, and mistakes that will make unhappy customers.

This is a time when you should be thinking about safety at a higher level.

Here are some reminders:

Think Before you do

Rushing can cause you to act impulsively. Design safety into every task so you get into the habit of working safely.

Work efficiently, not quickly

Rushing can also cause a worker to take short cuts in procedures designed to prevent injuries, as mentioned above.

Don’t decide to take short cuts

Rushing can cause you to work less efficiently or less safely with a partner. When you are in a hurry, teamwork becomes more important.

Rushing can cause you to try to do too much

Get help lifting, do your pre-task warm-up and stretching. Workers injured while rushing to get a task completed often decide to use the wrong tool for the job. If someone is using something you need, wait until it is available or take the time to stop and get what you need. Time pressure injuries are also the result of a worker who took a chance by doing something he or she knows is not safe. Rushing to the job site or home can cause you to drive aggressively. You won’t typically get there much faster by driving faster.

Rushing can increase stress levels. Know how to reduce stress.

If you are a supervisor, be careful that you don’t send mixed messages to your crew that the completion of the project is more important than safety.

This is one reason we don’t say that safety is a PRIORITY but a VALUE as when other priorities build up; safety may get replaced as the absolute top priority.

Hurrying through a job or task can result in you being rushed to the hospital. If the task, job, or assignment is not finished on time, it will still be there for you to finish. Your fingers or an arm might not be. Which is more important to you?