A little thought can make all the difference

Is Safety an Illusion?

dieanywayI have been in dozens of manufacturing facilities. Everything from steel foundries to car assembly plants to wire brush manufacturing. Safety is promoted in many ways in each of them, and some companies are able to brag about their significant accomplishments in safety.

Anyone who has seen this knows that the measures are most often given in terms of injury rates or accident avoidance.

But for me, the measure is what I see when I am inside. I look to see if there is a well kept facility or if there are lots of unorganized storage or messy work areas. I watch the operators interact with machines, and I look for where fire extinguishers are. In short, I look for practices that indicate loss prevention as a value.

There are lots of people who think that accidents are, well, accidents. That they are bound to happen. That if I work in this facility long enough I am likely to lose a finger just like my Uncle Joe did when he worked here.

If the safety programs are window dressing, then safety is an illusion. Some people believe that their co-workers were fated to be injured. That’s why some people who never smoke a day in their lives still get lung cancer. Or why a lean athlete might still die at an early age due to heart ailment.

What do you think? Is it worth any effort to take extra caution? When are safety meetings and risk mitigation efforts too much?

Let’s be careful out there. I mean, if you think it matters.

2 Responses to Is Safety an Illusion?

  1. JanaNo Gravatar says:

    This may sound silly from someone under 40, but I almost slip in the shower at least once or twice a year! Get some cute little non-slip tub decals. Also, the new kitten I believe is trying to trip one of us on purpose, but I don’t really know how to prevent that.

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    TimNo Gravatar Reply:

    Hi Jana, and thanks for stopping by.
    The tub decals are a help, but if you are even a little OCD, the dirt build up on their edges will bug you. Not that you shouldn’t sacrifice a little for safety’s sake.
    My dog is just now learning to stay out from underfoot – it’s been about a year. And when we last had a cat, the morning walk down the stairs was frequently treacherous. Use those handrails!

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