If you ever get the feeling that you need to take chances to get something done, step back and rethink it. Don’t take that chance. If you are a supervisor, make sure what message you are sending. Do workers think you want them to cut corners? Is production ahead of safety and quality? The most common things we hear after an accident are:
- I was in a hurry
- I was distracted
- I was only exposed for a few minutes
- I didn’t think I would get hurt
- I knew better
At no time do we want workers to be in danger from heavy equipment. You’ve heard it all before, make eye contact with operator, wait for them to acknowledge you, don’t pass behind or in the blind spot of the equipment. Don’t get under or near a suspended load, which can be pipe on rigging, rebar or lumber on forks, or even equipment/buckets passing over your head. If you are in a trench, no one and no machine should be above you.
Working unsafely and getting away with it meant that you were lucky in the past. We don’t want you to be lucky, we want you to be good. There is never a good time to have an accident, it will have a horrible impact on you and your family at any time of the year. It is not unusual to have accident and injury rates go up when approaching the holidays. People get distracted with holiday preparations, money issues, and some people face depression. All of these things can take focus away from the tasks being performed.
You all have made a big difference in our safety record. Three years ago, Delta had 23 recordable accidents, two years ago it was 14. Last year we had 4 recordable accidents, and two this year. This happened because everyone is helping do their part. Workers are looking for and correcting hazards, turning in defective equipment, and watching out for each other. Supervisors are planning out the work, communicating to workers and doing their oversight of the projects. Management is providing resources for equipment and training that is vital to a healthy and safe company. The quality of our work has improved, and morale is better when you have a safe jobsite.
We can reach the goal of zero injuries, but it takes constant attention. We cannot let the little things slide because they become bigger issues. Each strap left lying on the ground, each nail sticking out of a board, every time we rush and skip an inspection, or use a defective tool, we are counting on being lucky. Don’t think we are good enough already, there is always room for improvement. We are not injury free, but we could be. Safety, Quality, Production. Nothing we do is worth you getting hurt.