Jan 25, 2012 / by Alisa Hafen / No Comments

When you think about it, we have all taken shortcuts at one time or another.  Many of us have crossed the street between intersections instead of using the crosswalk or jumped a fence rather than going through the gate.  In many cases, however, shortcuts can involve danger.

Whether at work or at home, if you are in the habit of taking dangerous shortcuts, break it. At work, it can be deadly.  Not too long ago, an iron worker tried to cross an opening by swinging on reinforcing rods.  He slipped and fell 20 feet onto a concrete floor.  Had he taken just a few moments to walk around the opening, he’d still be tying rods.

Even if the job takes only a few minutes, it isn’t worth risking your safety and health.   Wear personal protection to safeguard your body parts.  Take the time to use the proper equipment that is required.

Recently, an auto mechanic was removing a metal bearing from the brake assembly.  He was wearing goggles and gloves; he removed his goggles to answer his cell phone and then he continued to work on the bearing without replacing his eye protection.  While hammering the bearing to complete the break, a piece of metal flew and hit his eye.  He ultimately required eye surgery.

Using a face shield, in addition to goggles when using grinders or similar devices, would be a wise and added safety measure.  This will insure your eyes are even more protected.

Avoid using a cell phone while on the job.  If you must use your cell phone, move away from your work area.  This reduces the risk of being distracted when working and allows you to focus solely on the task you are performing.

Ladders, steps and walkaways are built to insure your safety, as well as for your convenience. Use them.  Don’t go from one elevation to another by climbing a column or sliding down a rope.  Falls from heights are a safety problem in industry and in homes.

Elevated falls account for one third of industrial accidents.  At least three hundred people die a year in simple falls from ladders.

The safest way isn’t always the shortest way, but it’s the surest way.  The safe way usually takes some extra effort while the unsafe way often appears to be more efficient at the time.

Deaths at work can happen more easily than perhaps most of us realize.  No one should have to go to work wondering whether they will return home.  Workplace deaths are preventable deaths, just as deaths on our roads are preventable.  To ignore safety measures can mean disaster for employees, their workmates and their families.

Remember, shortcuts cut life short.