I recently assisted a company with their annual fall protection equipment inspections. Each of their facilities brought their equipment to a central location where we thoroughly inspected each piece. The effort spanned 12 hours over the course of two days. A monotonous task to say the least.

At times I had to remind myself of the importance of maintaining focus and not shortcutting the inspection process. Placing a damaged or defective piece of life saving equipment in service could result in tragedy. When it was all said and done, we removed at least twenty pieces of equipment from service due to damage, deterioration, or disrepair. If they were subject to the forces associated with a fall, the wearer would face injury or even worse, death. While looking at the pile of unsafe equipment I said to my colleague, “This is why it is so important that we do this every year.” He glanced at the pile and shook his head in agreement.

After reflecting on the two-day process, I realized that many safety efforts are monotonous (inspections, training, documentation, coaching, etc.). They are tedious, repetitive, and routine. Yet they are of the utmost importance. It is easy to get sidetracked, lose interest, get frustrated, and question why we continue to engage in safety efforts that often go unseen, or the benefits unrealized. There is power in repetition and consistency. Maintain your focus and know that these efforts make a difference in people’s lives. Celebrate the monotony.

Joe Mlynek is a partner and subject matter expert at Safety Made Simple, LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in safety at the corporate level and as a consultant. He is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) and Occupational Safety and Health Technician (OHST). Joe can be reached at