Safety Excuse #1:
Prior Experience & Success Will Guarantee Your Safety
- A construction worker who’s driving a nail without eye protection says, “I haven’t been hit by a nail yet. Besides I don’t miss—much.”
- Another worker without a hardhat in a construction area says, “I’ve been working here 20 years and I’ve never been hit in the head by anything. Besides, I’ll just be here a few minutes.”
- A third worker climbing on a raised platform without fall protection says, “Look, I’ve got real good balance, better than most. • Besides, I can move around better without it.”
These are all variations of the same flawed excuse; “I’ve had success in the past; therefore, I am safe today. Don’t fall victim to this common excuse; your safety today depends solely on what you have done to stay safe today.”
Safety Excuse #2:
Assuming It is Safe Makes It Safe
- An equipment operator who fails to inspect her forklift before operating it says, “It worked fine yesterday and the day before. I’m sure it’s fine.”
- A maintenance worker who neglects to read a chemical container’s warning label says, “If this chemical were really dangerous, they wouldn’t even let me use it. So it must be safe.”
These excuses are all examples of assuming the safety of the situation rather than confirming the safety of a situation. Making assumptions about safety can quickly turn tragic.
Safety Excuse #3:
My Safety Is Directly Related To My Convenience
- A machine operator who holds his work material close to the cutting action of his machine says, “People keep walking off with my push bar. That thing is never around when I need it.”
- A worker tightening a bolt with a wrench of the wrong size says, “I didn’t have the right size wrench with me, but I did have a big pipe wrench. So I figured I’d just use that.”
These are all excuses based on the flawed logic that safety is somehow related to convenience. Safety is not always convenient; it does take extra effort. It takes effort to make sure you have the correct device when you need it;
It takes planning to bring the correct tools to the job. Using these types of excuses to justify unsafe behavior is certainly an example of short-sightedness and poor decision-making.
HOW THE RESULTS OF MAKING EXCUSES AFFECT US & OUR LOVED ONES
- A worker in an asbestos abatement area who neglects to wear a respirator says, “I don’t see how this stuff can be that dangerous; I’m not wearing this thing.”
- A worker in a loud machine shop who refuses to wear hearing protection says, “I’m not wearing these ear plugs; it’s not that loud in here anyway.”
- An electrical worker who rejects his arc flash protection says, “I can’t believe they expect us to wear this suit. I’ve done this job 1,000 times without an arc flash and I’m sure this time will be no different. Let’s just get it done.”
Excuses like these not only place us at risk, they clearly show our ability to set aside reason and logic.
At the funeral of the electrical worker, his widow says, “I just don’t understand how this could happen; he had worked there so long. I mean he knew what he was doing.”
A visitor at the electrical worker’s funeral tells his grieving widow, “At least you can take comfort knowing he got away with it the first 1,000 times.”
After such an incident, our loved ones wouldn’t think much of our excuses.
WHAT OUR EXCUSES REALLY SAY TO OUR LOVED ONES
We would probably be far less likely to take risky chances if we had to attempt to explain them to our loved ones first.
One worker explains to his wife, “Look honey, I know they spend time and money to train us in safety and procedures, but they don’t really want us to actually do all that stuff. So I don’t.”
His excuse is really saying, “Look honey, if I’m willing to risk getting hurt or killed, I’m going to do it. I don’t care how it affects you.
Besides, if something happens to me, you and the kids can always go live with your mother.”
While most of us wouldn’t choose to say those things to our loved ones, that is exactly what we are saying when we use excuses and commit unsafe acts.
We all know actions speak louder than words.
“The world is moved not only by the mighty shoves of heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.” Helen Keller
Thanks for the share, TO!