Once I had two men come visit my office and, during the conversation, I mentioned that I’d served in the US Air Force. One of them said he had also served in the Air Force, which started a conversation about assignments, deployments and other common experiences. After several minutes of talking, I turned to the other visitor and asked, “You have no idea what we’re talking about, do you?” He agreed. The first man and I had started using jargon that we’d been using for years, but what was “old hat” to me was foreign to the other man.
What’s the safety tie-in? “Old-timers” may not be aware they’re using unique terms and phrases to the job. If you are the new member on a team, be sure to speak up and make sure you understand terminology before you begin any dangerous tasks. “Old timers” can also take time to explain things so that everyone will …