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Rushing, fatigue, frustration, complacency, anger, etc.—all of these emotions and states can contribute to the making of critical mistakes. A person who’s normally a safe driver becomes a different person once he sleeps through the alarm and is now running late for work. Suddenly the good habits disappear and are replaced by tailgating, cursing and speeding. It’s when people get into such states that accidents are most likely to happen.
The same thing happens in the workplace. When the machine is down and you haven’t been able to make parts all morning and the customers are waiting, you start rushing. All your good habits and training go out the window and risky behaviour takes over.
Accidents are basically caused by four things:
How to Get Back on Track
When we’re rushing, tired or frustrated, we’re less inclined to be focused on the task at hand or aware of the dangers around us. So the best way to protect yourself is to recognize when you’re rushed, tired or frustrated and use it as a warning. Some people already do this type of thing. They’re working on a project and nothing seems to be going right. Say a bolt is really tight and they can’t seem to get it loose no matter what they do. They start jerking on the wrench a little harder. But before the wrench slips and they fall or hurt their shoulder, they realize that they’re getting frustrated and are likely to get injured if they keep it up. They put the wrench down and go get a cup of coffee. When they return they’re calmer and can now take a reasoned approach to solve the problem, such as getting the right tool or seeking help. Many workplace injuries are the result of external factors like rushing, frustration, fatigue or complacency. The next time you find yourself in a state of mind that contributes to risky behaviour, take a deep breath and say to yourself, “Hey, if I keep this up, I’m going to hurt myself.” Take the time to get your mind back on task.
\When two or more persons are given a task to perform, communication is usually an important aspect. Without a clear plan and effective communication execution of the task may be more difficult and will put persons at risk of being hurt. Effective communication means that which is clear and understood.
The case below exemplifies how tragic lack of clear and effective communication can be.
A 53-year-old Georgia truck driver was killed when he was accidentally struck by a semi driven by his wife. He was killed at about 11:30 p.m. while preparing to unload a tractor trailer in the parking lot of an Industrial Park, according to police. He was working on the pin that connects the cab of the truck and the trailer, his wife thought he had signalled her to move the truck, and she accidentally struck him, police said. A preliminary autopsy indicated that he suffered from multiple blunt force trauma injuries to his chest and neck. The couple had been married for 33 years, police said. All the details on the cause of this fatality are not yet known, but certainly communications appears to play a part in this. Clear and concise communications between co-workers is a must and even in this couple married 33 years, something broke down.
When communicating during moments critical to safety:
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Electricity is something that cannot be seen and, yet, it is the most useful power controlled by man. Although useful, it can be very destructive power to both man and material if the proper precautions are not taken.
The danger is always there, and we must know what means of protection can be used to eliminate the hazards. Even the seasoned electricians need to remember basic rules of electrical safety.
Here are a few to keep in mind:
Jobsite electrical installation
The following rules apply to electrical installations, both temporary and permanent, used on the jobsite.
Portable power tools
In construction, portable power tools with defective wiring cause many injuries. The following safe practices recommended.
“Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.”— Dietrich Bonhoeffer
LEARNING defensive driving techniques and driving defensively could prove the difference between life and death on the roads, but how many motorists actually know the limits of their vehicle and can handle a critical situation???? Aspects of driving such as proper driving posture, braking, lane changes and reactive manoeuvres, recognizing and controlling skidding and vehicle maintenance are generally covered as part of practical defensive driving courses.
One of the most alarming facts facing drivers is the time and distance it takes for a speeding vehicle to stop. At 100kmh, the average stopping distance is 80m, but there are several variables that will affect a driver’s ability to pull up in time. The first is human reaction time, which will usually vary from one quarter of a second to three quarters of a second, but can be doubled or tripled by tiredness, alcohol, fatigue and low concentration levels. Once the brakes have been applied, other variables such as the type of braking system, tyre pressures and tread, vehicle weight, suspension and road conditions all play a part.
All motorists should maintain a safe gap between their vehicle and other vehicles, minimize distractions while driving, share the workload on longer trips, avoid being in a rush and be aware of what other vehicles are around you before stopping or changing lanes.
Disobeying the road rules will eventually come at a price, the least being it will hit the pocket. but much, much, worse, your actions could cause injury or loss of life. There is no greater grief than to unexpectedly lose a loved one.
Some People Don’t Understand – they think they are good drivers, they think they have a good car and they think the road conditions are good at the time but a problem rises when something unexpected happens in front of them. They have no time to react and no time to avoid any hazard that may occur in front of them and this often results in a serious crash or fatality.
Lack of patience can also be a big killer. If people are in a hurry to get somewhere, as they often are during the Christmas period for instance, they will generally start to exhibit a number of bad driving habits which can result in speeding,unsafe overtaking or following other vehicles too closely. These bad behaviours are more likely to result in a crash.
Let us commit ourselves to: Abide by the three C’s (concentration, consideration, control), be patient, DO NOT drive when under the influence, drive to road conditions, avoid speeding, maintain good health and accept limitations, avoid using cell phones while driving, exercise caution at all times, being aware of surroundings and ensuring that vehicles are in good operating condition.
“Opportunity is missed by most because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Thomas A. Edison
There is a kind of stored energy related to the sheer weight of things in our workplaces, such as loaded pallets, heavy equipment, and bulk material. This type of stored energy is also called potential energy. Another type of stored energy is called “elastic stored energy” which can be found in ropes and cables used to move heavy objects or equipment. Potential energy and elastic stored energy hazards are a source of a variety of serious injuries and fatalities.
Electrical and Mechanical Stored Energy
Equipment such as motors, control panels, conveyors and hydraulic systems contain electrical and mechanical stored energy.
Weight = Stored Energy
The sheer weight of things in our workplaces, such as loaded pallets, heavy equipment, and bulk material. That weight is a type of stored energy, also called potential energy. The higher the object is from the ground, the greater its’ stored energy.
Elastic Stored Energy
Another kind of stored energy to be aware of is called “elastic stored energy.” For example, when a bungee cord is slack it contains no stored energy. But when it gets stretched out, the energy needed to stretch it is stored there until it’s released. In the workplace, the same kind of energy – in much greater quantities – can be found in ropes and cables that are used to move heavy objects and eq uipment.
Unfortunately, potential energy and elastic stored energy can be a source of serious injuries and fatalities at some facilities.
Awareness and Observation
To protect ourselves we must increase our awareness of stored energy hazards and we must become more observant for them in our surroundings. “A worker raises a dock leveller as a truck backs up. A person on the dock is standing too close to the leveller. When the leveller drops, it lands on the toe of the worker’s boot. The correct procedure for this task is that the operator makes sure the person is clear before lowering the leveler.”
Awareness of stored energy hazards goes beyond the workplace. In fact, our homes often contain stored energy hazards that we can easily overlook. Things such as bookshelves, heavy furniture and large TV’s can become serious hazards. Whether we’re at work or at home, the variety of stored energy hazards we can encounter is nearly endless, and the hazards can change from day to day. So the key to our safety is awareness - awareness of the hazards we could encounter and awareness of our surroundings. This awareness will help us to either eliminate stored energy hazards or stay out of their line of fire.
We’ll not only protect ourselves, we’ll protect the well-beings of our co-workers and our family members as well.
"Cultivate optimism by committing yourself to a cause, a plan or a value system. You'll feel that you are growing in a meaningful direction which will help you rise above day-to-day setbacks." — Dr. Robert Conroy
Why do I need to wear personal protective clothing and equipment?
Let's give it some thought.
The human body is amazing. We have a head and brains for thinking, ears for hearing, eyes for seeing; a nose for detecting odours; a mouth for talking and eating; lungs for breathing; arms, elbows, knees and legs for lifting and bending; hands and fingers for dressing and feeding ourselves and for writing; legs for walking and running; and feet and toes for support and balance.
However, we can be easily cut, burned or blinded. We can break bones, cut flesh, become deaf or blind, get scraped and suffocate. These possibilities bring to mind the need for working safely and wearing personal protective equipment and clothing. Employees may work on a job that requires personal protective equipment, such as safety glasses, safety shoes, gloves and hand pads, hearing protection, hard hats and respirators. Personal protective equipment cannot prevent an accident from occurring, but safety equipment can prevent serious injuries.
We realize that safety glasses, safety shoes, gloves, ear plugs, hard hats and respirators are kind of a nuisance to put on and wear and may seem rather bulky and uncomfortable. Most of the time, if personal protective equipment is properly fitted; it's just a matter of getting used to wearing it. This is a lot easier to adhere to when we remember that we stand a better chance of continuing successfully with our jobs and home lives if we are protected from possible serious injuries by personal protective equipment.
SAFETY EYE PROTECTION—Safety glasses, goggles, side shields, face shields, welding shields. Eye protection is needed where there is airborne dust; the danger of flying metal, wood or other materials; welding; and splashing chemicals. Employees must choose and use the protective safety eyewear required for their jobs.
SAFETY FOOTWEAR -Safety shoes offer soles with puncture protection instep protection, ankle snugs to ward off sparks, metatarsal guard, non-slip sole and steel caps that protect the toes from falling object. Today safety shoes are very comfortable, fashionable and effective.
HAND PROTECTION- Approved cloth work gloves, leather hand pads, metal mesh gloves, insulated gloves, neoprene and plastic gloves, and rubber gloves provide protection when handling sharp, rough, greasy and hot materials, and during operations where the hands are directly involved with lifting or moving objects. Other special- purpose hand protection includes leather wrist and arm sleeves, hand mitts and finger pads.
HEARING PROTECTION- When noise is above acceptable levels and it is impossible to reduce noise output, personal hearing protectors, such as ear plugs, ear muffs, sound bands and moulded ear plugs must be used. This equipment must be worn properly and kept in good condition to be effective.
SAFETY HEAD GEAR -For protection from falling or flying objects, moving machinery, sharp corners, heat and fire, electric shock, dripping chemicals and unseen dangers, hard hats should be worn. Hard hats must have sturdy brims, and rigid inner suspension to cushion shocks and blows; they may have chin straps and removable face shields. Hard hats can be made of plastic, fiberglass or metal. Other head protection includes bump caps, hair nets and chemical resistant hoods.
RESPIRATORS- Respirators should be worn if inhalation hazards are present in the workplace. They should be provided by the employer. Respirators are used where there is dust, paint spray, fumes, smoke and mists. In hazardous working conditions, self- contained breathing apparatuses are required. You should know the proper methods of fitting, maintaining and cleaning respirators.
OTHER PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT:
Personal protective clothing and equipment have their place in sports, manufacturing plants, foundries, construction and many other areas of industry. It is our responsibility to be safety-conscious. We must recognize the importance of personal protective clothing and equipment and take advantage of their benefits by wearing them. Suit up for safety--use and wear and care for personal protective clothing and equipment
“At every choice point in your life -- pause --and bring out your best rather than your baggage.” Eric Allenbaugh