Workplace hazards can be obvious as well as hidden, with immediate impact as well as delayed consequences. Workers can slip and fall in an instant or develop lung cancer from asbestos exposure over years. Recent neuroscience research has identified new hazards that come with the limitations of just being human. The way the human brain naturally works doesn’t always mesh well with processes that aren’t designed optimally. Real, identifiable latent conditions, if left uncontrolled, can and do result in injury, illness or organizational accidents.
While moving a new car up a ramp onto a payload bed for delivery, something goes wrong. The car starts to roll back down the ramp. Workers nearby run forward and secure it. The program manager presents the workers with awards at the next all-hands meeting for their quick response, preventing the car from possible damage. Does this send the right message? Would they have gotten awards if someone’s hand or foot had been crushed in the process?
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