Weekly Safety Meeting – Dangers of Shortcuts

Everyone takes a shortcut at one time or another. You cross the street between intersections instead of using the crosswalk or jump a fence instead of using the gate. But in many cases, a shortcut can involve danger. If you have the habit of taking dangerous shortcuts, BREAK IT!!

Employees are statistically six times more likely to experience an accident or injury as a result of unsafe behaviors, such as taking shortcuts, than unsafe working conditions.

One large insurance firm even reported that 92% of their reported injury and workers’ compensation claims occurred because workers were not performing their tasks properly.

While shortcuts can sometimes be a great way to get things done faster, you always need to evaluate whether or not the increased speed is going to cause any unintended problems. It is always much better to do something properly the first time than to have to either redo it again later or deal with the consequences of the shortcut down the road.

With this in mind, you should always take the time to fully evaluate any workplace safety shortcuts that people are taking and see if they are really providing the facility with true benefits. If not, they should be eliminated to help keep everyone safe.

Common Safety Shortcuts:

  • Taking shortcuts when it comes to safety can manifest in many different ways. Some common types of safety shortcuts that occur in many workplaces:
  • Not implementing all necessary safeguards.
    • Almost every work task has several safeguards that are to be implemented prior to work beginning.
    • Each safeguard that is implemented is one more way to protect yourself and others from injury.
  • Not wearing the necessary PPE.
    • PPE is the last line of defense for workers. o You never know when you may need it.
  • Rushing during tasks or not taking the necessary time to do certain tasks. o Many things can be missed when rushing during a work task.
    • This can lead to incidents occurring.

Ways to Avoid Taking Shortcuts:

  • Hold yourself to a higher standard.
    • Do not take the easy way out.
    • Take the time and energy to perform tasks correctly.
    • Make it a habit to follow safety policies and procedures.
  • Help set the expectation that shortcuts are unacceptable when it comes to safety.
  • If coworkers see you taking shortcuts, they are more likely to do so themselves.
  • Realize that shortcuts affect more than just you.
    • They can result in negative impacts on production, property damage, as well as injuries.
  • If facing a perceived time pressure, evaluate whether it is a self-imposed time pressure.
    • Many times, individuals put pressure on themselves to perform a task faster when there is no real outside pressure to get a work task completed.
    • Preplan work tasks well ahead of time so the necessary tools, training, personnel, safety equipment, time, etc. are available.
      • Having all the necessary items for work tasks can help to avoid the urge to take shortcuts.


Even if the job will only take a few minutes, it isn’t worth risking your safety and health for those few minutes. To boil it down taking shortcuts is just an individual choice. Sure, there are many factors that affect whether an individual will make the choice to do so, but it is ultimately a choice that is made.

Download flyer: SMOTW_726_Dangers of Shortcuts

Download Spanish flyer: SMOTW_726_Dangers of Shortcuts_esp

You may also like...