Brigitte Hafner
is a communicator in the Rail Cargo Group
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RCG Inside

“Look at yourself!”

Mindfulness starts in the head and is something you can train. As part of a pilot project, Rail Cargo Group apprentices attend workshops where they learn simple tips and tricks to reduce everyday stress, perceive the world more consciously and thus avoid dangers and accidents at work.

Smartphones are increasingly shaping our everyday life. In some cases, they even go so far as to think for us, inform us about the latest news or switch our TV, music system or other building technology systems on or off. Too often we let ourselves be controlled by them in everyday life and pay too much attention to them. The environment increasingly recedes into the background. What is often perceived as carelessness often turns out to be a danger in everyday situations. Accidents are too often the result.

 

To this end, the pilot project called “I’m looking at me” has now been launched with our apprentices in cooperation with Employee Protection and the Insurance Institute for Railways and Mining (VAEB). Accidents often happen because of hectic situations. The aim is to reflect on everyday behaviour in order to perceive the world more attentively and consciously, to recognise dangers in everyday life in good time, to prevent them and thus to avoid accidents at work and on the road. Workshops were held to get to grips with the topic.

 

In cooperation with Employee Protection and the Insurance Institute for Railways and Mining (VAEB), a pilot project was launched to pay more attention to the topic of mindfulness in everyday life and thus avoid hazards and accidents. © VAEB/Angelika Grollmuss

During the training courses, however, the focus was not on the raised index finger but on conscious self-perception and reflection of one’s own behaviour. The citation of legal texts was replaced by practical exercises and skilful case studies and the young colleagues were attended to in terms of their needs. Because knowledge about legal texts alone is not enough to be more attentive, to change one’s behaviour and thus to increase safety. Rather, the topic was explained to the apprentices in a playful way and they very quickly realised how much they benefit from the workshops, especially since it is about their safety.

Rail Cargo Group apprentices are trained for mindfulness in workshops. © RCG/Franz Heissenberger

Tips and tricks made easy

We have summarised here some helpful exercises from the training courses and workshops on how changes in everyday behaviour can be achieved with easy measures, how we perceive the environment more carefully and thus get through everyday work more safely and without accidents:

  1. consciously perceive the environment!
    Exercise: Consciously look out of the window on your daily train ride to the office and not at your smartphone.
  2. Change perspectives!
    Exercise: Consciously take a different route to work. New things are discovered and perceived afresh.
  3. Stay focused!
    Exercise: Concentrate fully on one work step without being distracted.
  4. Consciously omit something!
    Exercise: e.g. consciously watch TV without also using a smartphone or notebook.
  5. Do it!
    Exercise: not only do something, but actually implement it – this is the only way to change our behaviour.

The intentions of the workshop participants were written down. An evaluation in three to four months’ time will show how successful the apprentices have been in their daily lives and what changes in behaviour they have already implemented for the long term. RCG/Franz Heissenberger