Shortcuts are a Choice

Shortcuts are a Choice Safety Talk

The decision to take a shortcut can be influenced by many different factors. That being said, at the end of the day, shortcuts are a choice made by an individual. It is important to realize this fact and take steps to avoid taking shortcuts, especially when it comes to safety on the job.

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. You never know when you may need it.
  • Rushing during tasks or not taking the necessary time to do certain tasks. 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.


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. It can be difficult never to take a shortcut when it comes to safety, but there are many actions that can be utilized to eliminate the urge to do so.

Discussion point: What are other factors that may lead to a worker taking a shortcut?

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