It Only Takes Three Seconds to Double Workplace Errors

Written by on 10/24/2016 3:43 AM in , , , , . It has 1 Comments.


Are little distractions having a big impact on your workman's comp insurance rates? According to a recent Michigan State University study, a brief 2.8-second distraction during safety-critical situations doubles the chance of mistakes. Increase the length of the distraction to 4.4 seconds and the number triples.

Ringing in the stats

Study participants were asked to perform a series of tasks in a particular order. Occasionally they were interrupted with another 3-to-5 second task before returning. Researchers were able to then garner the number of errors with and without disruptions.

Hang on a sec

When employees are momentarily disrupted mid-task, there is an increased chance of resuming said task at a different point in their train of thought. Having that moment interrupted, however briefly – then returning to a different place – can be jarring to workers.

Calling all workers

In today’s tech-driven, instant access, mobile era, this means the time it takes a worker to silence a call or turn off a text or email alert is enough to disrupt their thought process – even if they don’t answer the call or read the notification.

Say what?

Safety critical jobs are the most seriously impacted (think: ER doctor, airplane mechanic). Health and safety is on some level contingent upon such interruptions. Managers have been aware of these challenges for some time now, leading some to implement cell-phone free positions and/or zones to minimize the potential of distractions that can lead to injury or death.

Workplace errors have your workman's comp insurance rates sky high? Discuss this study with your workers, then call Minnesota Comp Advisor to uncover a better path to safety today.


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