Do We Really Need To Listen To This? - 10/26/2020

Safety E-QuickTips

U.S. Compliance Systems, Inc.

Monday October 26, 2020


Do We Really Need To Listen To This?

Who really wants to listen to someone tell them how to work safe?

The same thing over and over, week after week, year after year.

Seems a little ridiculous at times, right?

Especially when they talk about safety issues we all know about and understand, like slips, trips and falls.

Well, here’s a story that just might help change your mind.

This past year I’ve been working on putting a deck on my home along with a set of retaining walls that allow us access to our back yard from our basement.

It was a fairly large project that may have been completed a bit sooner had I employed a contractor, but I chose to do it myself with help from my son and some of his friends.

The major portion of the project started about this time last year and continued through the winter with the major work being completed by summer.

My home is located in northeastern Ohio so I can tell you, starting an outside project in the middle of winter is usually not a good idea. But because of permit delays, we didn’t have much choice.

So, it was winter, cold and at times wet with even a little light snow. Actually, it was one of the easiest winters I can remember, but it was winter and working conditions were not always that great.

One more thing . . . we had a sunroom going on a portion of the deck that was being built by a contractor, so we had complete part of the deck by February to allow them to meet their schedule.

All of this left us with sometimes less than good working conditions and a schedule that was tight to say the least.

Sounds a little like most construction projects. Right?

Let’s get the real reason for my story.

It’s cold, less than perfect working conditions and I have a schedule to meet and I can honestly say there were times that even I, a safety professional for almost 30 years, considered bypassing safety to get the job done.

Doing things such as standing on something other than a ladder because it was not close by . . . not covering muddy areas with gravel to prevent those slips and falls as we moved 75-pound blocks . . . avoiding steps that would drag the day out a little longer . . . you get the point.

You see, even a safety consultant who has been involved in writing about safety for years and has heard more stories about accidents that didn’t end well for others, considered bypassing workplace safety to get the job done and maybe even for my own convenience.

But I can tell you that it was those years of writing and listening that left me with only considering, yet not following through on a bad safety decision that I would possibly regret.

When or if you ever find yourself saying, “Do I really have to listen to this,” at your next safety meeting or while taking safety training, please remember it might just help you to make the right choice when you are considering working in an unsafe way.

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Thanks for Reading and Please – Stay Healthy and Work Safe This Week!

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U.S. Compliance Systems, Inc.
Phone: 1-888-475-5353
Fax: 1-888-925-5353
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