The dangers of rushing in the workplace

Many times, employees rush through the office or worksite because they are behind on their work or are late for meetings. According to, a global network of safety professionals, many people tend to rush to get tasks and responsibilities done as quickly as possible. In a past article from Occupational Health and Safety magazine, the author wrote rushing often is a normal reaction to a stressful environment, but this behavior may cause people to make mistakes. Any time workers are running through the workplace, aren’t looking where they are going or trying to operate machinery quickly, these situations put them at risk of an occupational hazard. Workers who are moving too rapidly through the workplace or who are trying to multitask as they operate machinery may end up harming themselves and their co-workers.

Serious injuries may occur due to rushing, such as a worker spraining his or her ankle or sustaining bodily harm from running into a co-worker. Employers may experience workers compensation claims if hurried employees are involved in a workplace accident. Yet rushing isn’t just a physical hazard, it’s a health one as well.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, workers who operate at a feverish pace tend to have higher stress levels, which may lead to heart disease and headaches, and also may cause their colleagues to feel stressed. When the entire workforce feels job strain, employers may see more employees use sick days, lack motivation and make mistakes, which may lead to additional problems. In essence, rushing around the workplace increases the risks of work-related injuries and illnesses as well as potentially decreasing the entire workforce’s productivity and performance.

Taking preventative steps
Employers may be able to avert workplace incidents or illnesses by encouraging workers to be mindful of where they are going and how they are feeling. However, employees may feel as if they must rush through their work in order to be done on time or simply to catch up on unfinished tasks.

Workloads may be an issue, and employers may want to ask for feedback from workers about if they feel they have enough time to finish their duties. In an Inc. magazine article, the author wrote managers also may want to encourage workers to prioritize their tasks. Time management or procrastination may be factors contributing to staff members feeling they need to run through the workplace to get things done. Employers may want to provide workers with time management strategies and tips on how to stay calm, cool and focused when the workplace becomes hectic.

In addition, it may be a good idea for employers to remind workers about the health effects of rushing. Some workers may not realize they are putting their colleagues at risk of an occupational injury because of their actions, and others may not be mindful about how their own stress levels contribute to their overall health. Finally, it may be beneficial for employers to include stress management information in wellness programs.

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