Welcome back for another episode. Hope all is going well and you’re having success with safety training, drills, and safety committees. If you need suggestions or have questions please don’t hesitate to ask. May I wish you all a happy groundhog day. I do find it entertaining that with all the apps, science and technology out there we still drag poor Punxsutawney Phil out of his man cave just to see if he finds his shadow or not cause it really influences the weather. Wink, wink.
We all have demons of one type or another that can influence how we perceive the world as well as how the world perceives us. Whether your demons drink, do drugs, gamble, steal, cheat, binge eat, binge-watch television, hoards or bullies other demons, how well we can control them or how well we can have them play with other people’s demons can make a difference in how life goes. That’s easier said than done as Demons want to control it all so we battle them with conventional weapons like cleanses, portion control, no flour, no dairy, no sugar, fresh vegetables, exercise, vacation, relaxation, meditation, and medication.
Beating Demons is not an easy task, after all, they are a part of you so they know you all too well and can anticipate how you’ll react. The medication demons are really slick for sure as they first take away your pain and make you feel good all over and already knows all your lies to come in your attempt to get more. What could be so wrong about feeling so good and being without any pain of any kind? I know I can control it. Only needed a few pills to get by today. The Demons laugh, they know when you try to stop, the pain comes back and only seems even worse and that you will say anything to keep others from coming between you and your Demon.
Demons want you to believe they are your friend and have your best interest at heart by allowing you to indulge, feeding your habit and listens to your endless promises how you’ll know when it’s time to quit and end the relationship, hopefully before that one toke over the line. I can’t tell you how to best the Demons as there is no one way to accomplish this. You just persevere, be strong and follow what the professionals tell you and embrace family, friends and their love.
Thanks to Demons, technology, and our greedy pharmaceutical companies, accidental injury has become the #3 cause of Death in the United States for the first time, ever! Accidental Injury No. 3 Cause Of Death For First Time In U.S. History. A large part of this is due to the overdoses of opioids that are occurring on a daily basis in our communities as the Demons continue to further use up the limited resources of our already stretched out first responders. Another chunk of this is due to another Demon, the smartphone. People are so wrapped up in their devices and have their heads buried so deep responding to a lame post, they never see the oncoming car headed their way. People, there is no need to rush blindly into death. Stop, smell the roses and enjoy this life.
Demons don’t just dilly dally with people. The cultures of some of the largest corporations are fraught with Demons especially when it comes to workplace safety. Former train conductor says safety is virtually non-existent at Amtrak. I am a firm believer that a companies culture is developed from the top down. People will do or not do if they know they can get away with it. When a corporation doesn’t care enough about safety, you wind up with a poorly trained staff and have lots of derailments. You know these companies, I’m sure you have worked for a few as have I. No regular safety meetings if at all, no drills on how to handle emergencies, no way to report unsafe conditions. Apparently, this is not just a problem with U.S. railways. In the United Kingdom, the Demons made sure the safety culture there is so poor that no one bothered to check and make sure the door to a restroom with no floor was locked and off limits to passengers. Mum saved boy from falling to his death through this huge hole in toilet floor on a moving train. I’m sure everyone thought that the other guy was checking it or maybe the Demon would keep it locked up. Either way, the lack of leadership, (another Demon) by management is appalling that no one followed up.
Then there are those Demons that tell you making your point at all costs, even at the expense of a primates life, is fine. Volkswagen Suspends Executive Over Monkey Trials. I will refrain from the easy jokes here, (fighting that Demon up to publishing time) but the fact a German car manufacturer had someone conducting experiments on living animals, well. Are we so smug to believe that we as humans are so important we can decide to torture other living things to ensure our safety or in VW’s case, ensure that their lies about emissions could have been hiding the truth?
Politics seems to attract all kinds of Demons but when it comes to workplace safety, do we want politics involved or common sense? Washington State Senate Democrats Push Safety for Sanitation Workers. It would have been so much nice to see a headline that read, State Senate Pushes. What do Republicans have against safety? Yea, it costs a little to have a good program in place but don’t we want to preserve all human life? Do we want families to suffer a tragic loss? To look at that empty seat at the table and wonder did the company and politicians do what was right for other humans and not to benefit there own bottom lines? Must be the work of more Demons.
One thing I learned at an early age in the Bronx, don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time or in this case, pay the fine. In New Zealand, WorkSafe fine ‘will put company under’ says owner. I have no sympathy for any company owner who knowingly puts his hard-working employees in harm’s way to benefit from the profits only to cry poverty when caught about the fine. Oh, Boo Hoo. It’s happened in the U.S. as well with a large corporation caught and crying about the size of the fine. I do believe OSHA and other agencies like it around the world should first be educators, but when a company is caught not complying on purpose or is a repeat offender, you don’t deserve the company in the first place. Maybe it should be turned over to the workers to operate.
Unguarded machinery and no L.O.T.O. is a no-no. Pallet Manufacturer Cited After Employee Injured By Machine. It is against the law to force you to commit an unsafe act. So when it comes to moving parts, before you attempt any maintenance, or clear a jam, do proper Lock Out Tag Out. This is not a game of “clear the jam” or you being a non-team player. It’s about your life, your physical well being. Don’t let the Demons tell you that it’s o.k. to do just this one time to save a few seconds. That’s what all the other dead workers thought before reaching in. If you are concerned about your safety at work and no one is listening, call the OSHA hotline at 1-800-321-6742. In California the Cal/OSHA number is 1-800-963-9424
Yes, I guess it can be all about perspective. In the U.S. last year there were over 5,000 work-related deaths. The highest it’s been in a while and creating quite a stir in the industry. But in China, they are celebrating a reduction of workplace deaths in a year. Down to 38,000!!!! CHINA WORKPLACE DEATHS FALL TO 38,000 IN 2017: REPORT. OMG!! But this doesn’t take away from our numbers. 5,000 is way too high and we all need to work together to rid of the Demons and make safety a priority.
Be a mentor to a younger worker. Share your experiences, what’s worked what hasn’t. Communicate those cautions and tips and keep the conversation loud and long. Ask questions, read blogs, learn! It’s the best way to keep demons in their place. Until next time, please never keep quiet about safety for the life you save may be your own.