Safety Tidbit for Monday, 6/26/2017

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Last week we marked the official start of summer, even though Memorial Day was a few weeks earlier. Next week we celebrate Independence Day on the Fourth of July. Some of the popular summer activities are vacationing, fireworks, camping, cookouts, swimming, and the list goes on. Summer is a time to enjoy the warm weather, but make sure you plan and prepare for every activity. A little preparation can help any activity go smoothly. Neglecting proper preparation can lead to First Aid, hospital visits – or worse. Take the time, make good plans, and plan to …

Be Safe!

P.S. If you plan to drink, don’t drive. If you plan to drive, don’t drink.

Safety Tidbit for Monday, 06/19/2017

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I can use one of two doors to go between my car and my desk. Common sense says the closer door would be the shortest route. Out of curiosity, I stepped it off and I’m wrong. It’s not a huge difference, but I save a few steps by using the farther door.  

Earlier this year I had a class on forklifts. The instructors shared the concept that “common sense” conflicts with safety. For example, a crane operator had a “ticket” saying maintainers were working on the crane.  However, when the production foreman saw the maintenance team taking a coffee break, his common sense said the crane was available for use. What these two didn’t know was that one man was on the crane’s track, preparing for the rest of the team. It was a fatal mistake, and more stringent procedures are now in place.  

Common sense says, “Nobody walks in this area.” Maybe that’s true 99.9% of the time. Common sense says, “The other driver will see my blinker.” as you start to change lanes. Maybe that other driver is distracted. I could usea thousand examples, but you get the idea. When you have the choice, ignore common sense and choose to…

Be Safe!

Keith Steele

Safety Tidbit for Monday, 06/12/2017

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I was driving over the weekend when my smartphone alarm reminded me to take my medications. I faced a few problems when this happened. First, my alarm was sounding through my Bluetooth hearing aids, so I couldn’t tell where my smartphone was. Second, I was on a rural section of freeway, in the middle of road construction, and the southbound traffic was in the other lane of the northbound side of the freeway. I couldn’t glance at the other seat for fear of drifting into the oncoming traffic. I couldn’t pull over because it would be a safety risk to get back into the traffic at freeway speeds. I decided to first remove my hearing aids to get that sound out of my ear. Second, I decided to take the next exit and find my smartphone, which had fallen to the floor. When all was said and done, it had taken over five minutes.

I’m sorry for the drawn-out story, but here’s the safety tie-in. Things will happen, and when they do, just take the time, evaluate things, and come up with a plan to …

Be Safe!

Keith Steele

Safety Tidbit for Tuesday, 06/05/2017

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For the last few days, I’ve been waiting for some stroke of genius to inspire my tidbit for this week, or watching for some major event that I could use as fodder for my writing.  Neither has happened, and since I need to leave soon for a meeting, I’m left with hoping that what I write isn’t too mundane.

And perhaps that’s how it should be.  Here’s the safety tie-in.  Most of the time, safety topics lack glamour.   (If anything, they are more inclined towards gore.)  If we do the mundane things – think things through, prepare, communicate, be observant and execute plans with caution – then we will be doing what it takes to…

Be Safe!

Keith Steele

Safety Tidbit for Monday, 5/29/17

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From my desk, I can see at least eight safety signs or markings – barriers, instructions, electrical warnings, floor markings, and the frequent honks form the forklifts.  Outside my shop, that number grows rapidly with multiple safety features in my car (turn signals and “door ajar” lights) to all the traffic signals, road markings and signs, and so forth.  With so many signs, it can be easy to overlook them.  But all those signs and markers are there for a reason.  Initially these would be for education or familiarization, and then with experience, they become reminders.  But in every case, we need to heed the signs and markings so we will…

Be Safe!

Keith Steele

Safety Tidbit for Monday, 5/22/2017

Right now, I’m waiting for my daughter’s high school graduation to begin, which allows me a chance to reflect and write my tidbit. I had hoped to write and post my tidbit in these few minutes, but I didn’t count on a poor cell signal and an overtaxed wifi. My wife made sure we left early, which proved to be a good idea when we ran into some road construction. As for my daughter, she’s being recognized for her hard work and overcoming some significant challenges the last two years. (Am I boasting? Yes, and please allow me this one indulgence.)

Here’s the safety tie-in. There’s always a chance that something unexpected will happen, so always allow the time you need to be prepared, and recognize when things go right. It may not be a high school graduation, but I think we can appreciate it when we end each day in the same condition we started. It’s the small things that come together to help us…

Be Safe!

Keith Steele 

Safety Tidbit for 5/15/2017

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Years ago I found myself chairing the committee for a work party.  Since many of the committee volunteers couldn’t attend every meeting, frequently ideas would be presented that had already been covered.  While I appreciated the participation, even if sporadic, it was frustrating to have to cover the same ground again.

Here’s the safety tie-in.  When it comes to safety, the work has already done and procedures have been established for a reason.  Don’t take time to reinvent the wheel.  Rely on the experts and learn to …

Be Safe!

Keith Steele

Safety Tidbit for Monday, 05/08/2017

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At work I recently met Rob and Joe, who came from Detroit to do some training.  One day during a break, we were talking about the local area, including a nearby lake.  After a few minutes, Rob asked me, “Why do you call it the Great Salt Lake?”  I had to stop and think for a moment. Yes, I had been saying it that way.  I answered, “That’s the official name of it.”  (Look at the online maps and that’s what you’ll see.)  Rob either didn’t know what the name of this famous lake, or he’d learned it wrong, and in our conversation he learned something new.

While Rob is more familiar with the Great Lakes, this gave me an idea for a tidbit.  One of the concepts that I learned from Rob is, “You only know the things that people teach you.”  I’d learned the formal name of the lake from news reporters and cartographers (map makers), but probably not in school since I got my education in Idaho.   And here’s the safety tie-in.  You can learn safety both in formal setting, or on your own.  (This tidbit is one of countless online sources for safety information.)  It doesn’t matter how you learn, but always take time to learn to …

Be Safe!

Keith Steele

Safety Tidbit for Monday, 05/01/2017

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I’m spending a couple of days in a class this week, and I heard the following concept from one of the instructors:  Fear isn’t always bad.  Fear can bring awareness.  So if you feel a twang of fear, take a moment to lift your head, look around, think things through, and, if necessary, find an expert.  If for any reason you feel fear, take time to …

Be Safe!

Keith Steele

Safety Tidbit for Monday, 04/24/2017

I enjoy working Sudoku puzzles, even if I can’t do to do it as often as I’d like.  I remember one time I was busy working a Sudoku puzzle book, and for whatever reason I wanted to look at the solution in the back of the book.  I didn’t peek, at least not that time, even if it would have been faster.

When it comes to safety, there is no problem with looking at the “answer book” – be it a manual or asking an expert.  I’d rather take a little time, make sure I’m going it right, instead of finding out the hard way that I was wrong.  I’d rather take a little extra time and …

Be Safe!

Keith Steele