Errors and error-likely situations can be predicted, managed and prevented – only if we recognise them. We know that our mindsets and level of focus play a significant part in working safely. So how do we make sure we aren’t caught in an error trap? It’s simple – we need to recognise the triggers of these traps.
What are error traps and triggers?
Error traps are situations that can result in an unintended outcome such as an incident.
Triggers are signs that warn us of situations where errors are likely. They can be a reaction, a thought, a gut-feeling, or when we are entering unknown territory.
What are do triggers look or feel like?
Some common triggers include:
- Being in a hurry or feeling pressured
- Pushing to finish before the end of shift
- Stress and distractions
- Feeling sick or fatigued
- Being new or unfamiliar with the task
- Forgetting job steps or desired outcomes
- No/unclear procedures
- Tasks where a work-around is required
- Tasks where errors have already been made
- Returning to work after time off
- Last thing to do in the shift
What can we do?
Triggers should prompt us to respond or take action.
Recognising these triggers is only half the challenge. What we do following this can make a difference.
This is where ‘Stop and Think (Take 2)’ comes in. If you recognise a trigger, you must ‘Stop and Think’ before you go.