Taking Shortcuts

What We Heard About Ground Control

A mobile equipment operator with over 26 years of experience explained one reason why people get hurt at work; “Why you see the people get hurt," it’s because they get in a routine of doing the same things all the time. They don’t stop and think. They think that little shortcut is going to help them and it don’t.

Is it Really a Risk?

Shortcuts may save you time now, but they can cost you a lot more than a few minutes of your time later. During the six years from 2009 through 2014, 70 miners died at stone, sand, gravel, and aggregate mine and quarry sites. Many of them took a shortcut. They didn’t take the time to de-energize, lockout and tagout the equipment they were working near or they didn’t go and get the necessary PPE for the job. They didn’t chock their wheels or use the appropriate block for the task. Often they didn’t follow the safe operating procedure (SOP) to make sure the job was done correctly.

It Really Happens.

A mobile equipment operator told us about maintenance work that was done on a pump that previous day. He told us, “The right way means no shortcuts. I guess just sticking it together for the time being because that could, you know… We (just saw) that yesterday. There was a pump that broke loose and I would say that was probably from not doing it the right way the first time, just slapping it together to keep going, and nobody ever went back to check it… If you don’t do it the right way, you would have even more lost time later on.”

Think About It

  • What shortcuts have become bad habits at this worksite?
  • Are there changes that can be made to make jobs easier without dangerous shortcuts?
  • What can you do to discourage your coworkers from taking shortcuts that put them and you at risk?