Welcome to 2014 everyone. The Holidays have come and gone and now it is time for all of us to shrug of the hangovers and indigestion and try to get back to work. I know it’s not easy, but we have to do it.
Unfortunately, it is also the time of year when I have to start planning finalizing my budget projection for the New Year and once again my Workmen’s comp. expenses are going up. Not because of anything that has happened with my guys, we had only one LTI (Lost Time Injury) all year and that was a twisted ankle but our industry as a whole has had kind of a rough year.
Electricity has moved up to the number two ranking of things dangerous to work with. Due to this we are all going to have to pay the price. That is just how the world works.
Sadly though is the fact that behind all the numbers and statistics is the cold hard facts that many of our brethren have paid the price for someone being carless in the last 12 months. You have heard me say and my people probably get tired of hearing say “check and check again”. That doesn’t just apply to their quality of work. It is even more important when it comes to safety.
Key Safety Reminders
All that being said I would like to offer some safety reminders that can go a long ways toward keeping all of us safe in 2014.
Lock Out- This is probably the biggest thing you can do to protect yourself. It doesn’t matter if you work Industrial, Commercial or Residential, a simple Breaker Lok can save your life. People do stupid things like flipping breakers and switches while you’re working, just to see what lights up. Lock it, so it is not you that gets lit. Never work a hot circuit.
Hard Hats- This is my one of my personal pet peeves. You never know what some other idiot is going to drop and if you happen to be under them, it is you that gets the knot, not them.
Safety Glasses- You only have, one set of eyes, take care of them. Even if you are not drilling or sawing protect your eyes. You can be replacing a light fixture or ceiling fan and get stippling or dust falling in your face. Safety Glasses are cheap insurance for your vision.
AC Sensor- Even if you have done everything right. We have all walked into situations where circuits have been crossed or jumped; where panels have been mislabeled or left unlabeled. That is why you should always have an AC Sensor in your pocket. They allow you to test for power without actually having to make physical contact. Their light, cheap and can save your life.
Start the Year Right
These are just a few of the items that all of us should have every time we go into the field. Safety toed boots, gloves, and a meter are a few others.
We all know that the work we do can be dangerous. Still, many of us become Safety Complacent and others just get lazy. The most important tool any of us has is us. It is up to all of us to protect ourselves and the people we work with, every day. None of us wants to be a number on an actuaries chart.
Until next time, keep the coffee hot, the beer cold and don’t forget to like us on Facebook.
Note: For more great safety information read “Working Safely Around Electricity”.