TYRADES! Is your security plan up to date? | Open
One of my many tasks in my “day job” is to serve as a pointer to our workplace safety program.
Since I have a trigger for chatting about blood borne pathogens, body fluids, corrosives, and other appetizing topics, we don’t have a Christmas party or even a holiday party anymore. No, it’s a “Warning, there may be a quiz on lockout / tagout procedures for mistletoe!” ” Party.
Given my history, I am fortunate to be there for this position, instead of a pine box. In college, I worked in a factory for three summers. I casually slid my sneaker foot into a hot tub of mineral spirits. Even with repeated rinses, I ended up with skin as plum as the menu of a MACC (Mothers Against Constant Constipation) convention.
On another occasion, in the same factory, I was dreaming and almost lost my hand because of a roller mill that I had seen converting a nickel into a ball the size of a pancake. (Maybe that’s a false memory, but I could swear I heard Aunt Jemima scream, “Mrs. Butterworth can have this one!”)
Years later, in another job, I had the brilliant idea of climbing on a forklift cage to change an exterior panel. I accidentally pulled the shift lever on the way up and started a low speed roll that would have made OJ proud.
To my credit, years earlier, I had avoided a forklift disaster. A coworker was driving a forklift inside when a mouse fell from a ledge onto the steering wheel. The driver returned the vehicle (also waving a white flag and throwing in the Eiffel Tower, if I remember correctly), leaving it on the verge of collapsing from the loading dock, until I could press the brake at the last second.
I have known other people for whom “Safety First” was not a guiding principle.
A man was discovered sitting on a tree branch, preparing to cut the branch. A benevolent soul convinced him that perhaps sawing between him and the trunk was not the best strategy.
Then there was the time when my dad and another guy delivered a refrigerator. My father slipped on a wet spot on the steps and the big device landed on him. Her “assistant” panicked and climbed onto the refrigerator, adding her own 250 pounds. (“GE: We bring good things to life… assuming we don’t kill you first.”)
Every home and workplace needs a well-planned safety strategy. It’s just human nature that shortcuts, laziness, and a “it can’t happen to me” attitude lead to accidents waiting to happen.
Sometimes sentimentality plays a role. (“I know we should probably replace the wiring in the break room, but it’s still attached to Ben Franklin’s kite. Are you a comrade or something, man?”)
I have a knack for detecting when a colleague really needs the extra attention. You know to be careful when someone has a nickname like “Lefty” or “Stubby”. Try to have the courage to straighten up someone nicknamed “Kind of push it with your forehead.”
Every now and then I have visitors to my security conferences. For example, my lesson on preventing slips, trips, falls and lack of traction was taken by… the US economy.
I will not confirm or deny that a comment at the meeting was “I WISH we could put a mouse on the wheel!” “
Danny Tyree accepts email responses to [email protected] and visits to his “Tyree’s Tyrades” Facebook fan page.