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!
• There is a safe way to climb a ladder, which we use here at work – but we take a chance and fall from a ladder while painting our house!
• Excessive speed in an automobile may cause an accident – but we try it anyhow and wrap the family car around a tree!
• Radioactive fallout is dangerous – but we think nothing about leaving household poisons around where kids can get at them!
• It is dangerous for children to run out in front of cars – but we drag them across the street on the red light!
• It is important for teenagers to learn safe driving habits – but we violate a traffic law with our teenage son or daughter right in the car with us!
• A loose board on a stairway can trip someone – but we don’t bother to report it!
• Grease and oil spills can cause a nasty fall – but we “forget” that we should cover these spills with oil absorbent material!
• Tools and parts can become falling objects or we can trip over them – but we fail to put them back where they belong!
• We know an unsafe condition when we see one – but we pay no attention to material or trucks in the aisles!
• We know an unsafe act when we see one – but we oil, adjust, or try to fix a machine without even bothering to stop it!
• We shouldn’t take a chance when operating equipment – but we drive a forklift truck with the load carried high and try to turn a corner while going too fast!
• We can’t fool safety devices – but we remove or fasten a machine guard so it won’t give us the protection we need!
• It is dangerous for us to block fire-fighting equipment – but we pile boxes and cartons in front of fire extinguishers and store material right up to the underside of sprinklers.
• We should wear protective equipment – but we wear our goggles around our neck and leave our hard hat in our locker, our car, or on the shelf while at work.
• Horseplay causes a lot of injuries – but we blast Gus with an air hose just for the fun of it.
We all know better and most of us aren’t guilty of doing the many things that have been said. But we’ll have to admit that some of these things are a possibility, even for each of us with all our knowledge of the safe way of doing things.
Yes, we know better! But, since knowing is only half the job, we must act on our knowledge and do better to be safe all the time.
“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe