Perhaps you have a feeling that something is missing, or you are unsure you locked the front door properly. What is your natural reaction? Most of us would stop, go back and check. The same must happen at work when something changes or instinctively doesn’t feel right.
Stopping and reviewing a situation may have prevented a few incidents recently, including property damage and a lost time injury. We work in very dynamic environments and, despite our best planning, once work starts previously unforeseen risks emerge.
At this point we must stop and review what we are doing. New working practices or controls must be agreed that manage the newly realised risk, whether it is a risk to health, safety or the environment.
Once a new way forward has been agreed, note this on the risk assessment and re-brief all involved in the project. If the work cannot be made safe then it must stop and be referred back to your line manager.
Remaining observant to risk, constantly questioning what we do, acknowledging your instincts, and listening to operators are fundamental to preventing incidents. We must live this every day on site.