Safety Common Sense

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One of the most ‘common’ problems in safety is ‘common’ sense. 

What is common sense?
In general, we mean by this ‘something everyone knows’ or ‘common’ knowledge. 

In my book, common sense is a lack of thinking of the consequences when taking action.

It is NOT that we don’t understand or know. It is merely that we don’t pay attention or think about what can or will happen as a result of our actions. We are not alert, function in auto pilot or are plain careless. After an incident, we will often say that we should have ‘seen this comng’. But we did NOT, because we didn’t pay attention and think about the consequences.

In our attempt to overcome this ‘lack’ of common sense, we often put ridiculous safety rules and precautions in place, just to be safe, thereby undermining people’s attitude towards not only safety, but rules in general. (In this regard, see also “Speed Limit Syndrome“.) Rather, we should encourage people to think on the job, which will enable common sense to prevail. 

Here, with the compliments of Richard Hawk, a safety expert in the USA, is a link to a video clip which illustrates the business of common sense.

BTW, Richard puts out a monthly newsletter, well worth reading, about how to add humour to make the safety messages stick. 

 Be safe – the SIMPLY SMART way,


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