Why do people work unsafely

Why Do People Work Unsafely?

Refurbishment and development projects are classed as being within the construction industry

The CDM Regs 2015 place a legal duty on anybody involved in commercial activity in the construction industry

This includes people doing flips, BTL’s, HMO’s and anything else that involves construction workers

If you do not appoint someone as the CDM duty holder the liability will fall on you. Therefore an accident or breach of the CDM regs can have serious consequences

That is to say, it could end up with you in court and your company closed down

At the moment there are 50 deaths and thousands of injuries a year in the UK construction industry

So it is in your interests that everyone works safely

Planning to reduce accidents is one of  the site set up essentials

So why do people work unsafely?

Here are some of the common drivers


Taking shortcuts

One of the most obvious reasons unsafe acts occur is because people take shortcuts when completing their work. Whether it is because of time pressures, laziness, lack of supervision etc taking shortcuts can lead to injuries

Being complacent

Complacency is one of the hardest things to address in the workplace. Many people have been doing the same job or work tasks for years. As a result as time goes on they get comfortable with the work and are not as diligent in addressing the hazards of the work


Just like complacency, overconfidence can come with experience of the job. It can also come from inexperience. Overconfidence during a work task familiar or brand new, leads to unsafe acts

Ignoring rules or procedures

Most of the time everyone knows what the rules or procedures for a work task are. This is from training, conversations, warning signs etc. They know what they are supposed to do. However many workers choose to ignore safety rules and procedures for a number of reasons. Everyone should be given a site induction and a copy of the rules on their first day on site. This is one of the key elements of how to run a safe site

Poor attitude and bad behaviour are specific dangers


Poor attitude

Often the sources of unsafe acts can be traced back to poor attitudes. People who have a poor attitude when it comes to work or safety at work will show it through their behaviour

Bad habits

Bad habits are learnt on one site and taken to the next. The person who has picked up bad habits may see nothing wrong with them. However if no one has challenged them for working unsafely they may think its ok. You are not helping people by failing to challenge them. Just because something was tolerated on the last job , doesn’t mean you have to tolerate it now


There is a magnitude of reasons why people work unsafely. Despite what the reason may be for the unsafe act, one thing is for sure. Injuries will occur over time if unsafe acts are allowed to continue. Unsafe acts are the root of most injuries on jobs. When they are paired with unsafe conditions, it is likely someone will be injured. All too often it is the person working unsafely who is injured. That’s bad enough. But it’s even worse when a bystander is injured by someone else’s unsafe actions

If you need help with setting up a safe site contact us. We have decades of experience in running construction projects of all sizes


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>