Some workplace distractions and interruptions are unavoidable, but others – if not properly controlled or regulated – could lead to:
- Lost productivity
- Worker morale issues
Distractions can cause errors or accidents.
Before addressing or responding to another person, workers should shut down or disengage any work tool, equipment, or processes.
Job training should include instructions not to interrupt others during a critical job phase or process.
Instruction manuals should be kept on site to answer frequently asked questions and thereby eliminate the need to interrupt or distract other workers.
In some work environments wearing a headset with low volume music can be relaxing to workers and help them to safely focus on their work. However, wearing headphones on a construction or industrial site can be dangerous if it prevents workers from hearing warning signals, mobile equipment backup alarms, and safety instructions.
Walking around while talking on the phone or wearing a headset distracts your attention from safety and could result in a slip or fall or cause you to run into or be struck by something or someone.
Workplace distractions and interruptions are common, but training can help you remember to keep your mind on the task at hand.
Speak up about repeated and/or unsafe distractions and take responsibility for not interrupting or distracting others.