‘Safety first‘ is an oft-stated phrase throughout business all over the world, and its use becomes more ubiquitous in any industry where danger is less a chance encounter and more a looming shadow, like in fields that frequently deal with high-risk operations, such as chemical manufacturing. Regardless, in any field, companies spend tens of thousands ensuring the safety of their workers through training, equipment and the like.
But Joe Burton, CEO and founder of While, a digital wellbeing company, many companies are forgetting the simple fact that most accidents tend to be the result of one thing being off: the human element. He believes that making sure employees know how to learn mindfulness is a very good way to stave off accidents from the workplace.
To prove his point, Mr. Burton did a quick poll with his audience when he spoke at the Best Practices (BP) for Chemicals event, which was held in Houston this month thanks to being hosted by SAP. During his keynote address, he asked his audience who was suffering from back pains. Then he asked who suffered from insomnia. And then, to cap it off, he asked who was suffering from stress. The audience who raised their hands to show they suffered from the three were notable; close to one-third for the first two, and then practically every member of the audience for the last one.
There are many things that can lead to workplace stress, but, regardless, the problem of stress is one that leads to distraction and exhaustion, which presents a very real, and very dangerous issue. According to Burton, studies point out that a bad night of sleep can slow down a person’s motor skills by a whole 3 seconds, which can lead to a myriad of costly injuries out in the workplace.
With more people trying to figure out how to learn mindfulness as a countermeasure to stress, mindfulness is becoming a big thing in the workplace. Whil’s smartphone app allows workers to work on their mindfulness, with over 200 programs designed to quiet the mind, in order for workers to focus on their tasks and reduce the chance of accidents in the workplace occurring.
He states that utility companies have discovered that most of the workplace accidents that happen in their field happen in calmer situations and good conditions, since workers aren’t as alert and as focused as, say, during a storm.