A little thought can make all the difference

6 Ways To Override Safety

The helmet law for motorcyclists is a frequently argued regulation.   In the late 1960’s, the federal government began to make highway construction funds contingent on states having laws requiring helmet use for all motorcycle riders. This was eventually undone, and states began the long process of considering repeal of their laws. The whole cycle began again in 1991, and at this point, there are no federal sanctions for states that do not require helmet use.

The biggest argument against requiring helmet use is that it is not preventive. Education about safe riding can save more lives than the wearing of helmets. Anyone who has ever worked in the safety field would agree that education and training are far more important than protective equipment, but they would also say that both are required.

Anyway, as the post title suggests, you don’t have to take safety precautions! If you live in a state that does require helmets, it is obvious when you are breaking the law. But what about all the other safety precautions that engineers have made for us – can we override them if we wish? You bet you can!

CAUTION – THESE ARE ALL THING NOT TO DO! You may recognize that people do them, but they are increasing the likelihood of accident or injury.

  1. Clip ground plugs and adapters. This is less of a problem today than it was 20 years ago, but if you had a three prong plug and no outlets to match, the quickest solution was to clip the grounding part of the plug. You could use an adapter, but unless you grounded the adapter you were doing the same thing.
  2. Buckle seat belts. Those annoying bells and buzzers can go away if you just buckle the belt behind you. At least on some cars. They keep making them smarter and smarter you know. Because we still insist on bypassing proven safety methods.
  3. Buy bigger fuses. Most of us have breakers in an electrical box somewhere in the house, some still have the old fuses. If a circuit blows the fuse too often you could just put in a bigger  breaker, a bigger fuse, or better yet, a penny!
  4. Bring on the extension cords and power strips. As our gadget inventory grows, so does our need for electrical power. What used to only be a problem at Christmas time can plague us all year. Most of us know that overloading an outlet can be a problem, but hey, the breaker will trip of the fuse will blow right? Unless we followed #3.
  5. And while speaking of electricity, if the ground fault interrupter in your bathroom or kitchen needs to be replaced, you could replace it with a cheaper normal plug and not have the nuisance of the plug tripping out at times. Double win!
  6. Power mower kill switch. Most power mowers today have a bar at the handle that needs to be squeezed for the engine to run. It’s called a dead man switch. If something happens to the operator, the machine won’t keep running. Unfortunately, the operator leaving the machine run while they moved something out of the way or reached to clear an obstacle was frequently the one injured. But don’t worry, you could just use tape or twine to tie it up. Problem solved.

OK, as I stated above – THESE ARE ALL BAD IDEAS! Do not do these things. If there is a safety measure or precaution you don’t like, do not override it. You may not be aware of every aspect that it was created for in the first place. It was not created to annoy you, but to protect you in some way. Sort of like how some people see their parents.

We all override some aspect of our personal safety. I stood on a chair recently (when no one was looking) because I had loaned out my ladder. Bad choice. How about you, when was the last time you consciously chose the less safe alternative?

Thanks, and let’s be careful out there.

Anna at abdpbt is responsible for the effort to Fight Listless Mondays. Find other list links on her blog. Her lists and the others linked there always give you something to think about, and may even make you smile!

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