Bob Lapidus, CSP, CSMS
Almost everything we do requires concentration and it is not always easy to achieve.
Think about it. How often do you drive down the highway and get lost in your thoughts, not focusing on actual driving?
Have you ever used a hammer, let your mind wander, and hit your finger?
Watch a six-year old standing out in left field waiting for a ball to be hit. Ever see the little one’s head look up at a bird or a plane or look at the crowd? At that second the batter strikes the ball and the ball comes right at the child who hasn’t any idea of what is happening.
Focus, attention, concentration: A most difficult thing to accomplish.
Yet, in the field of safety, distraction and complacency are two of the most common causes for injuries. We fail to pay complete attention to what we are doing and in a split second, we make an error that causes injury or damage.
Concentration requires the following actions to be taken on the part of the human being:
- Try to avoid distractions – focusing your eyes on the task keeps you more attentive. Some people wear blinders to maintain eye contact on the work. Of course, that won’t work while driving since you have to keep your eyes moving at all times.
- Take care of yourself – Drink water throughout the day to keep yourself hydrated. Eat three good meals every day to maintain your nutrition and snack on healthy foods during the day to keep up your metabolism.
- Work on your task. Walk around. Get back to it. It’s not healthy to stay in one position for a long time. Some work is more adaptive to taking such breaks.
- Do that work that requires the most concentration when you are most energized during the day. That’s different for each of us.
- To maintain your concentration, avoid anything that will disrupt you. If possible, turn off cell phones and the related text messages and emails. Check those things at regular intervals throughout the day, but not every second of every day. Just because a text or email comes in or even a phone call, doesn’t mean you have to answer it right then. On the other hand, some jobs allow you to control your time while other jobs or even bosses expect you to respond to every interruption. If the latter is the case, you will find it very difficult to concentrate and protect yourself and others from injury.
- If you have a variety of tasks to perform, see if you can do a job that requires high concentration for a while and then switch to a job that doesn’t require such a high level of attention. That change of pace helps when you have to pay high attention to a specific task.
If you have something to do that requires a full-day of attention, drink that water, eat that meal, snack, take breaks that will allow you to break the concentration, that includes driving breaks and then get back to the task with renewed energy.
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For More Information:
Go to www.safetycenter.org for more information about Safety Center’s Safety Management Specialist Certificate.
After completing this nine-day program, graduates may take the exam to achieve the Certified Safety Management Specialist (CSMS) designation. Recipients of the CSMS receive a beautiful plaque and become part of an elite group of safety specialists who have achieved this recognition. Once this certification is attained, successful candidates keep it for the rest of their lives without any additional requirements or fees.