I recently received an email from a friend who had lived through Sandy. I have always considered myself very prepared for a natural disaster, especially with my food storage. As I read through this list of 46 things you will want to know, I realized not only am I not prepared, I am sure most of my friends and family are not prepared either. I encourage you to read these ideas so that you can be prepared for your family in the wake of a natural disaster. What better source than from someone who has lived through it.
Our ability to develop the habit of self-discipline will contribute more to our success than any other quality of character.
Kop Kopmeyer, an authority on success said self-discipline is “The ability to make yourself do, what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.”
Napoleon Hill said “Self-discipline is the master key to riches.”
Jim Rollins said, “Discipline weighs ounces, but regret weighs tons.”
Self-discipline means self-control, self-mastery, and the ability to have “dinner before dessert.” This doesn’t mean that we don’t have pleasurable experiences in life, but it means that we have them after we have done the hard and necessary work, and completed our key tasks. The payoff for practicing self-discipline is immediate.
Every once in a while I hear about somebody getting caught in a dumb situation. Many times it is a criminal that just hadn’t completely thought through their strategy. Most cases aren’t fatal, only embarrassing. Still, it reminds me that we all do the same thing. Sometimes we get so caught up in what’s going on around us, that our blind spots create dumb luck.
Take for instance, a convict in Washington D.C. who broke out of jail. A few days later, he accompanied his girlfriend to her trial for robbery. At lunch, the convict went to the deli for a sandwich. When the girlfriend needed him to come back to the courtroom, she had him paged. Police officers heard his name over the speaker system, recognized him as the escaped prisoner, and arrested him as he returned to the courthouse in a car he had stolen over the lunch hour.
A short time ago I was visiting a mining plant in southern Utah. On that very day there was a fatality. It was shocking and saddening. Later I returned to speak to that same company, and I referred back to the death of their co-worker.
The group was somber and quiet. The principles of safety and personal choice hit home as I spoke. As the large crowd of employees filed out of the auditorium, three of the men approached me to share some staggering information. All three men had been working that day with this young man. All three had seen what he was doing. All three knew the risk involved. They shared with me their thinking as the fatal accident occurred.
Rule number one is to follow the rules. Rule number two is to see rule one.
We sometimes baulk at the clarity of the rules. We would rather follow the rules when it suits us and we quickly settle for mediocrity.
We “kind of” follow the rules or we say to each other “Well – technically – this is breaking the rule.” But because it is just a ‘technical’ breach, it’s deemed acceptable to break the rule. But breaking the rules when it suits us, and treating rules as suggestions or options, is a race towards mediocre performance.
An incident can be defined as “any observable human activity sufficiently complete in itself to permit references and predictions to be made about the persons performing the act.”
(Whew!) Therefore, it is safe to say that incidents or accidents do not usually just happen; they happen for a reason and are usually due to unsafe acts or conditions.
The following is a list of ‘incidents’ that have typically led to employee accidents. This list focuses upon shop work, but of course there are many other unsafe acts, conditions, or work activities that give cause for concern.
Which of these conditions have you perhaps worked under in your shop or maintenance area?
– Adjusting, or cleaning a machine while it is in operation.
– Removing a machine guard or tampering with its adjustment.
– Using compressed air over 30 psi to remove metal chips from work surfaces.
– Using compressed air to blow dust or dirt off clothing or out of hair.
– Working without safety glasses and/or a face shield in a designated eye-hazard area.
– Failing to use ear plugs in work areas with high noise levels.
– Wearing gloves, ties, rings, long sleeves, or loose clothing around machine tools.
– Using a grinder with no tongue guard or properly adjusted work rest (1/8 in. max. clearance).
– Lifting an object that you know is too heavy for one person to handle.
– Using an ungrounded or non-insulated portable electric hand tool.
– Using frayed or poorly patched electrical cords.
– Smoking in areas where flammables or combustibles are used or stored.
– Storing spare oxygen and acetylene bottles near each other when not in use.
– Using cranes beyond their load limits or with a missing safety latch on the hook.
– Failing to clean-up spills from ground and work area.
– Failing to take proper care of equipment resulting in them malfunctioning
– Failing to label chemicals and keeping MSDSs in the work area for reference
Have you said to yourself, “It’s no big deal. I’ve done it a million times.” Have you skipped steps, not placed a chock block, not worn safety glasses or a hardhat? Have you gotten off a machine the wrong way, or not secured a brace, thinking the whole time, “It’s no big deal. I’ve done it this way before.”
Even though I knew the risks, and had even heard horror stories, I chose to maneuver the tractor without addressing the hydraulics, because the very night before I had done the same thing!
Einstein once said, “How many people are trapped in their everyday habits; part numb, part frightened, part indifferent? To have a better life we must keep choosing how we’re living.” Everyday we are building our lives. Everyday we must keep choosing what we will do and what we will believe. In choosing, we determine our destiny.
When the doctors told me the statistics of individuals with my same injury and level of paralysis, I had to decide what I believed about what they said. If I did believe them, given the statistics, I could plan on being in an electric wheelchair, being unemployed and unemployable, as well as being divorced. To believe them meant I believed my life was basically over. That was not an option in my mind.
Accountability- Responsibility of our actions that influence the lives of our customers and fellow workers. Creating a safe work environment, like any other organization-wide initiative, can only be assured when everyone, in every job, takes ownership and accountability for making the workplace safe.
Balance- Maintaining Healthy life and work balance. When our work life and personal life are out of balance, our stress level is likely to soar. This will naturally affect how we perform and focus and impact adversely on our safety. Maintaining a healthy life and work balance is therefore very important for us to work safely.
When that whistle blows, why are you excited to go home? What is it about going home that perks you up even after working a ten-hour day? Is it someone special? Is it your hobbies? Is it the peace that you feel when you’re fishing, or boating? What do you go home for?
Most of us work to maintain the good things that we enjoy at home. We work to afford our habits and our hobbies and the investments into our relationships. We work for our family time and our play time. We work for our houses and our personal style. We are not our jobs, however, because of our jobs, we enjoy the lives that we do.
We have many opportunities to improve our safety performance, but the question is: Are we really taking advantage of these opportunities?
Let’s look at specific examples
Driving on company premises
• Are we obeying the speed limit?
• Are we using our seat belts?
• Are we stopping at stop signs?
• Are we pulling over to talk on our mobile phones?
The fact of the matter is that there are times when persons are seen in contravention of one or a combination of these basic safety procedures. Yes, the roads have less pedestrians and traffic but that does not eliminate the possibility of an accident and more importantly the behavioral change that is developed will be invaluable as we battle the chaotic situations on our public roads on a daily basis.
Most of us have the necessary knowledge and experience to do our jobs and we don’t want to hurt ourselves or others. Why, then, do we often ignore our good friend “safe practices” and set ourselves or others up for an accidental injury?
• Carbon monoxide can kill – but we sometimes work in a closed garage with our automobile engine running!
• A bump on the head hurts – but we don’t think about that for a minute when we walk under an overhead load!
• A circular saw can cut off a finger – but we go right ahead and operate a saw without aguard!