Art & Science of Mindfulness in the Practice of Safety
- Linda F. Martin (Bay Crane, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and Columbia Southern University) | Jan K. Wachter (Indiana University of Pennsylvania)
- Document ID
- American Society of Safety Engineers
- Professional Safety
- Publication Date
- August 2018
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 30 - 33
- 2018. American Society of Safety Professionals
- 0 in the last 30 days
- 40 since 2007
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- Mindfulness has been applied increasingly to stress and wellness management; however, its importance to the practice of safety is just becoming recognized.
- Mindfulness fosters positive attributes linked with enhanced task-specific safety performance.
- Meditation training can be provided to line workers by adapting tools such as smartphone apps. Typical exercises include guided meditations, breath control, body scans, self/team focusing activities and examination routines.
Mindfulness is defined as the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis and “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, nonjudgmentally” (Kabat-Zinn, 1994). Although mindfulness has its origin in Buddhist philosophy and meditation practice, it has been applied as a treatment for a myriad of things, most notably mental and behavioral health issues (Brown, Ryan & Creswell, 2007; Hayes, Luoma, Bond, et al., 2006). Research on mindfulness has increased almost exponentially since the late 1970s and early 1980s with nearly 700 journal publications on mindfulness being recorded in 2017 (AMRA, 2018), giving way to promoting mindfulness and its beneficial results for many different applications including workplace wellness.
A state of mindfulness has been associated with many behavioral conditions, such as conscientiousness (Giluk, 2009; Latzman & Masuda, 2013), engagement, including traits such as commitment, loyalty, productivity and ownership (Wellins & Concelman, 2005), and improved task performance (Dane & Brummel, 2014; Shonin, Van Gordon, Dunn, et al., 2014). Notably, mindfulness has been shown more recently to positively influence worker safety in several limited studies (Betts & Hinsz, 2015; Dierynck, Leroy, Savage, et al., 2017; Huber, Hill & Merritt, 2015; Nolan, 2017; Zhang, Ding, Li, et al., 2013; Zhang & Wu, 2014).
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