Smugness, self-satisfaction, self-congratulation, self-regard, gloating, triumph, pride, and self-contentment.

These words are synonyms to “Complacency” . They suggest ego-driven feelings of inflated self-reflection that can and will lead to injury if left to foster while working. Nobody likes a braggart or those who constantly ‘blow their own horn’ – except that we do it to ourselves unconsciously. Why? Because the mind desires to spend its time on what it assumes are important thoughts. Thoughts like; “I’m so good at this task I don’t even need to think about it anymore”, “Will I get off in time to go out after work”, “Will my favorite team win the championship?”, “Is my butt too big?”, “How can I pay all of my bills?”, “My child is being bullied at school”, “My Aunt is on deaths’ door”, etc.

Can you think of a time when this happened to you and what you did to prevent it?

Although some of these thoughts are important in their own right, they are completely counter to a safe work site and especially when one is on task with tools and equipment in hand. Consciously we would never purposely hurt ourselves or others but when we work on ‘auto-pilot’ – because that is essentially what we must do to entertain other thoughts that have absolutely nothing to do with the task being performed – it is only a matter of not ‘if’, but ‘when’ an incident will occur.

Focus on the task at hand!