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Is Taking Shortcuts Really Worth It?

When someone gets hurt on the job site, the number one comment is usually, “I was trying to get the job done quickly,” or “I always do it this way and have never gotten hurt before.” The thing that most people don't think about is that when they either hurt themselves or others, they lose exponentially more time then it would've taken to get the job done correctly. If you get hurt, then how will you be able to provide for yourself or your family?

There are many different ways that we can take shortcuts, but eventually, they all have consequences. You might feel that if you get the job done quicker than everyone else, then your supervisor will notice you and promote you faster. In reality, the best way to get that promotion is to show that you have a full understanding of proper procedures and can efficiently get the job done while remembering all of your safety training. Only you can choose to take a shortcut or perform the task correctly. 

There is a proper way to use any piece of equipment because the manufacturer has done extensive testing to determine the safest and most productive way to use that piece of equipment. Another critical key is the proper use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). It's not enough to have all your PPE on you if you aren't using it correctly. For example, if a paver operator is working on a busy highway with safety glasses around his or her rather than covering the eyes, are those glasses going to help if a rock gets thrown from a passing vehicle?  Also, remember that PPE should be the last line of defense in your safety toolkit.

It is essential to realize that taking a shortcut affects more than just you. That shortcut is putting your coworkers in danger and could potentially injure them although they are doing everything correctly. If there is ever a question about the proper way to complete a task, make sure to ask your supervisor. A supervisor is a resource to provide you with the most accurate information to get the job done safely and on time. Planning should take place before any workers conduct any task so that the proper training, tools, and safety equipment can be acquired. Proper planning prevents the need ever to take a shortcut. 

Lastly, if you see something, say something. Not everyone on the job has the same experience, and the employees who have been doing it longer should always help out their coworkers. At some point, everyone was the new guy on the job, and if it weren't for the guidance of the more experienced workers, you wouldn't have advanced to where you are now. Stopping unsafe work practices or coworkers taking shortcuts can create a safer and more efficient job site.

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