Complacency

Arborspective

Member
Location
Mineral
Ive only been a climber for 6 years now and i know alot of you have been turning those chains way longer but the one thing i have noticed in my 6 years is the most common safety risk is complacency and its something i fall victim to at times. So as a remedy i try to notice my comfort level and when its through the roof i think to myself that this is my most dangerous time! I think harder on things im doing and stop complacency. Please pass this onto to your guys as well thr same as i do. I notice one of my guys getting really comfortable and i make sure to have this talk and remind them that this extreme comfort you are feeling can be the most dangerous thing you've encountered as a climber because before comfort you are cautious about everything adding an unknown safety to yourself.
 

Arborspective

Member
Location
Mineral
Big difference between a high comfort level and complacency.
I disagree respectfully only because for one im not trying to start a debate between the two but in my experience i have seen many times guys become to comfortable and start cutting corners not even realizing that they are putting themselves at risk by doing so. Only because they start to feel like they are good enough or skilled enough / comfortable with climbing to wear there minds focus more on things they are not as good at. Example maybe rigging or maybe not being comfortable working around the public. And the second i am wanting to get this out there because even if maybe you dont relate to complacency because you can be comfortable and keep in mind ever right thing to do some others dont. I do pretty good but like j said in the post i also from time to time fall victim to it and that is why i am posting this, only to help others stay safe and go home to there families at the end of everyday.
 

rico

Well-Known Member
Location
redwoods
You seem to be conflating someone being truly comfortable while working aloft with cutting corners, taking risks, and complacency? Pure rubbish, and I would argue that it is the uncomfortable climber who is operating in fear/caution mode that is much more likely to engage in such activities.
 
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Arborspective

Member
Location
Mineral
You seem to be conflating someone being truly comfortable while working aloft with cutting corners, taking risks, and complacency? Pure rubbish, and I would argue that it is the uncomfortable climber who is operating in fear/caution mode that is much more likely to engage in such activities.
I have seen it many times and you should know that is a issue in our industry. Im not calling you out for doing this "being truly comfortable while working aloft with cutting corners" but you yourself should have at some point seen this issue with someone. Ppl who all of a sudden think they are so good that making a mistake isn't possible. Swollen headed individuals. Become complacent. And yes i would argue 100% that the uncomfortable climber is at least risk because they are trying to do everything by the books, everything they was instructed to do and the "fear" is the number one aspect that keeps them safer than an individual that does not have "fear". A climber who has absolutely no fear is a person who is a liability and a risk to himself and others. No fear means in a sense you do not feel like what you are doing can kill you or even worse you dont care that what you are doing can kill you.
 

Reach

Well-Known Member
Location
Atglen, PA
I have seen it many times and you should know that is a issue in our industry. Im not calling you out for doing this "being truly comfortable while working aloft with cutting corners" but you yourself should have at some point seen this issue with someone. Ppl who all of a sudden think they are so good that making a mistake isn't possible. Swollen headed individuals. Become complacent. And yes i would argue 100% that the uncomfortable climber is at least risk because they are trying to do everything by the books, everything they was instructed to do and the "fear" is the number one aspect that keeps them safer than an individual that does not have "fear". A climber who has absolutely no fear is a person who is a liability and a risk to himself and others. No fear means in a sense you do not feel like what you are doing can kill you or even worse you dont care that what you are doing can kill you.
I think there’s a difference between complacency and fearlessness, both of which are different from comfortability. I would put each one on opposite points of a triangle; I am generally rather comfortable in a tree, but far from complacent, and definitely not fearless!

I know another local climber who is excellent, one of the most skillful young men I’ve worked with, but he’s fearless to the point of foolishness; he’s going to end up dead one of these days because of the nonsense he does. And I’ve seen complacency, which masquerades as comfortability, but in reality is simply laziness on the part of someone who knows better but doesn’t think “it” will ever happen to him.
 

Dan Cobb

Well-Known Member
Location
Hoover
For quite a few years, I conducted all the root cause analyses for accidents in a heavy industrial setting. 1500 employees at 29 locations. The most common factor in my experience was a lack of hazard recognition. People tend to be cognizant of the obvious hazards, but often fail to anticipate all the "what ifs" of what can go wrong. Also, workers seem more likely to be injured performing low attention, high familiarity tasks than when performing high attention (high risk), low familiarity tasks, as the latter tend to prompt a heightened focus on safety considerations. Another common theme is workers taking a risk and having no consequence many times, leading them to minimize their assessment of the risk (which is kind of getting at the complacency issue.) We required all employees/crews to perform a written job safety briefing (JSB) prior to each job, identifying the tasks, hazards and hazard mitigation strategies. Even though a JSB can never really list every possible hazard, industry research shows a significant benefit from performing JSBs (also called JSAs, JHAs, etc.) We had great support for our safety programs from the top down and rewarded safety success.
 

Arborspective

Member
Location
Mineral
I think there’s a difference between complacency and fearlessness, both of which are different from comfortability. I would put each one on opposite points of a triangle; I am generally rather comfortable in a tree, but far from complacent, and definitely not fearless!

I know another local climber who is excellent, one of the most skillful young men I’ve worked with, but he’s fearless to the point of foolishness; he’s going to end up dead one of these days because of the nonsense he does. And I’ve seen complacency, which masquerades as comfortability, but in reality is simply laziness on the part of someone who knows better but doesn’t think “it” will ever happen to him.
I do agree with you bud and after a little harder thinking on the thaughts i had in a tree today that had me originally post this thread, with all intentions to only try to help those who find themselves getting a little "to" comfortable to just take a step back and remember we are professionals and must act, behave, and perfom like so and to not let that comfort cause you to do something that would sway away from correct methods of doing things. Example and i know this is a big one but just for reference, someone who doesnt feel the need to be 200% tied in just because its a simple cut with the trim saw and not neer his/her climb line. Not acceptable and not good practice or mindset to get into. And you said you would see the 3 things on points of a triangle and i cant disagree but that trangle is one shape and those 3 things can easily and do bleed into eachother with every individual having different areas where they would fall into the triangle. Agreed? And i have too had a guy on my crew that was fearless and i tried working with him, and get him away from that mindset and it just wasnt happeneing so i sadly had to let him go and be with another crew because it because to much of a liability to my other crew members, himself, and had stress clouding my mind to the task at hand.
 

pete3d

Member
Location
Hinchinbrooke
For many years part of my work was as an accredited instructor for our mandatory provincial construction safety course. A basic principle we were encouraged to put forward was that the most dangerous person on the job was yourself.

During that time I had the pleasure of having many Mohawk ironworkers as students. To a man they said, “If you’re not afraid, you’re crazy, or you’ve working been high steel too long and should quit.” These are some of the fellows that made New York vertical, and they sure look calm and comfortable, if you see them on the job.
 

Serf Life

Well-Known Member
Location
Maine Island
For quite a few years, I conducted all the root cause analyses for accidents in a heavy industrial setting. 1500 employees at 29 locations. The most common factor in my experience was a lack of hazard recognition. People tend to be cognizant of the obvious hazards, but often fail to anticipate all the "what ifs" of what can go wrong. Also, workers seem more likely to be injured performing low attention, high familiarity tasks than when performing high attention (high risk), low familiarity tasks, as the latter tend to prompt a heightened focus on safety considerations. Another common theme is workers taking a risk and having no consequence many times, leading them to minimize their assessment of the risk (which is kind of getting at the complacency issue.) We required all employees/crews to perform a written job safety briefing (JSB) prior to each job, identifying the tasks, hazards and hazard mitigation strategies. Even though a JSB can never really list every possible hazard, industry research shows a significant benefit from performing JSBs (also called JSAs, JHAs, etc.) We had great support for our safety programs from the top down and rewarded safety success.
Great post!
 

rico

Well-Known Member
Location
redwoods
I have seen it many times and you should know that is a issue in our industry. Im not calling you out for doing this "being truly comfortable while working aloft with cutting corners" but you yourself should have at some point seen this issue with someone. Ppl who all of a sudden think they are so good that making a mistake isn't possible. Swollen headed individuals. Become complacent. And yes i would argue 100% that the uncomfortable climber is at least risk because they are trying to do everything by the books, everything they was instructed to do and the "fear" is the number one aspect that keeps them safer than an individual that does not have "fear". A climber who has absolutely no fear is a person who is a liability and a risk to himself and others. No fear means in a sense you do not feel like what you are doing can kill you or even worse you dont care that what you are doing can kill you.
Genuine comfort while aloft comes through years of working at heights (longevity), and longevity is NEVER obtained through bravado, complacency, cutting corners, ego, or unnecessary risk taking.

It is clear that you have never work with men who are genuinely comfortable at heights or you would understand this.
 

Arborspective

Member
Location
Mineral
I guess at the end of the day one thing we can all agree on is safety and further advancing other individuals with safe practices is key. Mentally and skillfully. And i think ive said enough that you all know what im getting at and know my intentions are good, maybe havent chosen the right words for the right things at times but i think i got my message out there just how i was thinking it. To end though, you can easily be comfortable and not be complacent i never said that being comfortable means automatically you are becoming complacent, what i was meaning is i see them play hand in hand with certain individuals where there comfort did allow complacency to leak into there work being performed bringing in seemingly small risk that could have huge consequences. Thank you all for your feed back though much love to you all.
 

Chaplain242

Well-Known Member
By far the most common accident/injury in this job that I see or hear of is ankles. Ground conditions can be random and often attention is focussed on the sky.

When working in truly remote places, the rule was walk, stop, scan/look-around when looking around. Whenever one looked-around/scanned whilst walking, an injury could result with help too far away to be sought (changed a little if one has access to satellite phone) - and injuries sometimes occurred with tragic results.

One could extrapolate that to worksite - rushing, distraction, ground conditions, overly focussed and get into all sorts of trouble that wasn’t evident when doing safety analysis.

Most accidents I have had would not have been identified on any job safety analysis - they were truly random/extreme possibilities that just happened to occur, and had little to do with rushing, although some did occur due to understaffing and crossing the worksite enough to increase the odds of finding a ground anomaly (sitting behind a desk is safer too so I wouldn’t put too much weight behind that observation)

However pacing oneself so as to allow observation of changes in workplace, revelation of hazard existence, consideration of strength of TIP’s etc certainly does make a difference in a dynamic workplace such as ours.

not being 100% focussed on a task, but pacing oneself to be able to distribute some attention to TIP integrity, evaluate risks of rigging before the ‘final cut’ scenarios etc would possibly be more beneficial than a Job safety assessment at the start of the job. I sometimes fear the job safety assessment can become a set and forget analysis of job site safety

constant awareness and re-analysis should be the standard...

My 2c
 

Arborspective

Member
Location
Mineral
Genuine comfort while aloft comes through years of working at heights (longevity), and longevity is NEVER obtained through bravado, complacency, cutting corners, ego, or unnecessary risk taking.

It is clear that you have never work with men who are genuinely comfortable at heights or you would understand this.
You cannot tell me that those people you are talking about that have years of working at height has not at some points between being green and reaching that point longevity has never found themselves being complacent or ever cutting a corner, and sone with ego problems. Unless you work with robots and not humans i know that you have. And to clear up things i think you dont realize that im not talking about the seasoned man who has became comfortable due to time put in, and i guess i should have specified this in the beginning. I am talking about those new climbers that hit a noticable comfort level that causes them to think there balls are huge and be complacent with certain things not realizing that those things that they think are small can easily be life threatening. And yes i have worked with / around and i myself am genuinely comfortable with working at height.
 

Serf Life

Well-Known Member
Location
Maine Island
Genuine comfort while aloft comes through years of working at heights (longevity), and longevity is NEVER obtained through bravado, complacency, cutting corners, ego, or unnecessary risk taking.
That is wicked incorrect Eric. I have met and watched many, many 40-60 year old climbers and tree men who exhibit all of those traits. Kinda like a promiscuous person who never gets an sti and that poor sod who gets the busted condom first go.
 

Reach

Well-Known Member
Location
Atglen, PA
I do agree with you bud and after a little harder thinking on the thaughts i had in a tree today that had me originally post this thread, with all intentions to only try to help those who find themselves getting a little "to" comfortable to just take a step back and remember we are professionals and must act, behave, and perfom like so and to not let that comfort cause you to do something that would sway away from correct methods of doing things. Example and i know this is a big one but just for reference, someone who doesnt feel the need to be 200% tied in just because its a simple cut with the trim saw and not neer his/her climb line. Not acceptable and not good practice or mindset to get into. And you said you would see the 3 things on points of a triangle and i cant disagree but that trangle is one shape and those 3 things can easily and do bleed into eachother with every individual having different areas where they would fall into the triangle. Agreed? And i have too had a guy on my crew that was fearless and i tried working with him, and get him away from that mindset and it just wasnt happeneing so i sadly had to let him go and be with another crew because it because to much of a liability to my other crew members, himself, and had stress clouding my mind to the task at hand.
I would concur with that. Probably I should have explained better, but the “triangle” does not limit a climber to just one point, it’s possible to be in between somewhere. It may be a better triangle if you were to place “Comfortability” in the center, and replace the third point with “Fear” as that is a common driver of behavior in a tree as well.
 

Stumpsprouts

Active Member
Location
Asheville
My goal.. and I’ve begun to feel glimpses of it... is a zen state of mind. Respecting the risks, fully aware, but fluid and free.

I can own my complacency in those moments where I took an unnecessary risk. It was never worth it.

PS I am disappointed that many posts on this thread are excessively gendered. Men, men, men. Even if it is not your intention, by using this wording you contribute to a feeling, from an outsiders perspective, that this industry does not welcome women.
 

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