Spatial Awareness – Safety Newsletter June 2020

“Increase personal safety through spatial or situational awareness”


Simply put, spatial or situational awareness is the act of paying attention to what is going on around you, understanding how it affects you, and using that information to make decisions and act if needed. Maintaining spatial awareness is an active process.

As you walk down the street, your situation constantly changes; you pass different people, different doorways, cross streets, etc. These are all changes in your situation and each presents a potential safety issue.

Everyone is different; some people are naturally more or less aware of their surroundings than others.

The same process should be used while you are at work.

See below – some tips to increase your spatial awareness!

  • Be aware of your workspace;
  • Identify what plant or machinery is being used around you;
  • Identify what type of work is being conducted nearby;
  • Look out for forklifts, overhead cranes, or any other activity that could harm you;
  • Listen for noises to identify what else is going on around you;
  • Use your hands to use handrails when climbing stairs and feet and eyes to see and feel for tripping hazards;
  • Use your sense of smell to identify welding, grinding or any potential chemical smells that might cause you harm; and
  • Don’t be distracted by mobile phones or horseplay with other colleagues.

Remember: Watch, listen, touch, smell.

Using the body’s senses and having spatial awareness is one of the most effective risk assessments we can adopt to keep ourselves and everybody else safe.

Think about it as constantly doing a “Take 5”.