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People Do the Silliest Things

Do you think the guy sitting on the refrigerator is thinking, Hey, I think I’ll sit here so I can get hurt!  It is my opinion that he doesn’t see the hazardous situation.  Can you imagine the police report?

Seriously injured man found in the middle of highway 10.  Cause of injuries: fell off of a refrigerator while traveling down the highway at a high rate speed.

People are seldom intentional about hurting themselves.  In many injury reports you will find the injured as surprised as anyone else that they did something to cause their own injury.  I believe that if a person recognizes a situation they believe will likely end in pain, they will take action and apply controls to avoid it happening.

But we all do things we later regret, for example…

Years ago on a ski trip with my kids I injured my leg.  My daughter was the safety specialist that day and said, “Dad I don’t think this is a good idea”.  At the time we were skiing down a nicely groomed hill, taking it easy and then my daughter said she was going to cut through down a step ungroomed hill.  I didn’t want to look like a wimp so I said, “I’ll follow you”.  That was my first mistake and the second was not listening to my daughter’s sage advice.  I was doing good for about the first 10 feet until the tips hung up and I went head over the skis, heard a pop and felt the pain in my left calf muscle.  The worse part was having to act like I wasn’t hurt and my daughter screaming Dad are you okay?  Oh yeah I’m fine!  Just a little pain in my leg, and trying not to cry.

I was not about to call the ski patrol and have them take me down in a sled so I slowly made my way down the hill.  Yes, all the way to the medical facility where they informed me that skiing down the mountain in this condition was not a good idea… ya think?

That day I learned a few lessons:

1)    Listen to others who care about your safety.  My daughter tried to warn me but I was much smarter than her.  It is likely they recognize a hazardous situation that you are unable to recognize.

2)    Consider the pay-off before you risk life and limb.  Fortunately I didn’t break any bones, just tore a muscle that hurt like you know what for about 6 weeks.  I had a busy speaking and consulting schedule and had to wear a leg brace hobbling everywhere I went.

Was it worth the pain to not listen and consider the possible outcome?  Nope!  I should have listened to the sage who loved me and wanted to keep me safe. 

Remember, think ahead of your actions and ask yourself if there is anything that can cause you injury, then consider how bad it could be.  Most times you will change your path and come out on the other side uninjured.  This is the essence of hazard recognition and control.

Nobody comes to work thinking they are going to get hurt, maimed, or killed but unfortunately many do every day.  Listen to what is being said.  Change your attitude towards safety, improve your personal safety culture and go home every day without injury.

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Consider attending my Hazard Recognition and Control Workshop on April 24th in Dallas, TX, or schedule one for your organization.  Email me to request information at: carl@potterandassociates.com

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