Thursday, November 03, 2005

Safety First - Logic Last?

This morning, I attended a required safety meeting here at work. We do these every quarter, and it basically is a push for the company to operate safely and avoid instances that will lead to "Lost Time Incidents." We were all challenged to talk to one another about unsafe practices that we see in the building. Now I am all for working safely... especially in areas that have large machinery and chemicals and the like.

But the big example that was given today took place in our office building. Apparently, someone thought is might be "safe" to stand on the top rung of a ladder to work on some wiring. Well... the person fell and it created a Lost Time Incident. They presenters made such a big deal out of this... and said that it might have been avoided if someone had warned the individual of his poor choice to stand on the top rung of the ladder.

So my question is this... who doesn't know that such an action is unsafe? I mean really... who in this world (beyond the age of 7) is unaware of the precarious situation created by standing on the top rung of a ladder?


Troy said...

Apparently not everyone reads the warning labels on ladders.

dovie said...

I am *so* with you, Todd. Steven W. Murray will get life-long credit for me for the phrase "Think it through, people!", which is exactly what I thought after reading your post.

It seems Safety folks (the world over) don't think the whole thing through, no matter the topic.

In this example, I can maybe grant them the first thought of "warning people of the danger of standing on the top rung", but really...the second (and more actionable) thought should be: "Let's raise awareness and sensitivity about what we all know to be the unsafe practice of standing on the top rung of a ladder" instead of wasting time telling people something they already know (and then, by the way, discounting your entire speech/argument/peronage for treating them like idiots).

Soapbox topic? Noooo...well, maybe a little.

Aimee said...

Ah, good 'ol Corporate America - where, even if it's not your job, it *is* your job. Gotta love it!!

Ryan said...

Maybe if the company wasn't so cheap and would spring for the new and improved idiot-proof safety ladders, this unfortunate incident would never have happened. Instead, this genius would have fried himself by checking the wiring with a metal fork.

erin vanv said...

We had someone hit a wellhead recently and the discussion at work was that maybe we needed to put warning signs around it.

I guess not everyone gets as much sleep at work as Todd to be on top of these things...