Situational Awareness

Imagine you are a worker (a construction crew, a tow truck operator, a first responder- or a utility crew) who arrives at an incident or accident scene. One of the first things you do – is to become aware of what is going on around you – like a quick survey of the accident or incident and the environment in which you will be working. You perform a level of situational awareness.

Situational awareness is MOST accurately defined as: the ability to recognize any possible issues once you arrive at the scene and act proactively to avoid a negative impact. Or put into other words – it is knowing what is going on around you.

Situational awareness is the foundation of scene security and safety. Your safety and that of your co-workers depends upon you . The most important security concept that everyone must understand is that you must take responsibility for your own safety and then that of your co-workers.

No matter how hard you may try, you cannot be situationally aware all of the time. That is where the proper number and placement of safety devices and channelizers is important. You need to take steps to control the incident area, and restrict unobserved access by people and vehicles.

Upon arriving at the scene of the incident, you should

  • Stop: Engage your mind before your hands. Visualize the task and be sure you understand what needs to be done before you start working.
  • Look: Carefully observe your work location to find any hazards.
  • Identify: Point out the effects that the hazards could potentially have on you and your co-workers. Ask yourself if you can complete your task safely.
  • Manage: What are the options you have to mitigate any hazards prior to the start of work, and can the crew still continue the job as planned?

Stay Safe !