Your work attitude not only affects how well you do your job, but it also affects how safe you are when doing it. Positive people usually perform better in the workplace because they maintain an open mind and consider the outcome of their behavior. Negative people, on the other hand, complain about everything, including having to practice safety. The person with the negative work attitude is less likely to care about the quality of the job she is doing or how she does it. A negative work attitude can lead to unsafe work habits and accidents.
The Attitude-Behavior Link
Attitude is the fuel that drives behavior. It determines the ways in which you think and feel. It sets the tone for your emotions and how you react to what happens in the workplace. It not only affects what you do, but how you do it. While it is an instinct to avoid hurt and pain, when you have a negative attitude, it's easy to ignore the safety precautions that keep you safe, and put yourself or others at risk. A person with a negative work attitude is more likely to become careless while performing her job.
Attitude and Accidents
Carelessness is one of the leading causes of workplace accidents. Carelessness begins with a poor work attitude. People with negative work attitudes become unsafe when performing their jobs because they aren't paying attention to what they are doing. Their minds are distracted, often remunerating the wrongs they've experienced at work or home. Safe work habits are ignored, putting the worker and others into jeopardy, especially when working around dangerous machinery or equipment.
Positive vs. Negative Attitude
People with positive attitudes tend to get more out of life and work. Negative attitudes cause people to retract and close down. Actions become limited under the weight of a negative attitude because a person's primal fear-based reactions engage. Instead of thinking of ways to practice safety at work, a negative attitude causes a person to lose interest. The person with a positive attitude stays opens to new ideas, pays attention to details and has a broadened mindset. A positive attitude at work helps a person develop safe work habits because she is always looking for ways to improve.
When you have a positive safety attitude, you think first and then take action. Your mind is able to recognize unsafe habits or behavior. You stay alert while on the job. Your positive safety attitude helps you to recognize hazards that arise and respond appropriately. Your mind is focused on your work and you pay attention when you work with machinery and equipment. With a positive safety attitude, you develop work habits that lead to greater organization and efficiency
- Wharton University of Pennsylvania: Managing Emotions in the Workplace: Do Positive and Negative Attitudes Drive Performance?
- American Institute of Steel Construction: General Safety – Carelessness
- Behavioral Safety: The Psychology of Behavioral Safety
- Safety Daily Advisor: 5 Keys to Improving Worker Safety Attitude
- Safety X Change: To Prevent Accidents, We Must Change Attitudes
As a native Californian, artist, journalist and published author, Laurie Brenner began writing professionally in 1975. She has written for newspapers, magazines, online publications and sites. Brenner graduated from San Diego's Coleman College.