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Years ago, I knew a Coast Guard petty officer who told me that, when he was a young seaman (I think that’s how he said his rank), he was once on a detail that involved pulling in a heavy rope.  Like any good team member, he jumped in and started pulling his weight.  Only he didn’t bother to put on his gloves, and his hands took a thrashing.  I can’t remember all the details of his story, but I remember two things for sure.  First, he was chewed out afterwards for not taking care of himself.  Second, he was off-duty for several days while his hands recovered.  I’m also certain he never made that mistake again.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) needs to be used, not when it’s convenient, but when you or I need to be protected.  Sometimes it will protect us from a sting or a nick, sometimes from a cut or a broken bone, or it may just save a life.  There have been times when I realize I need to get my safety gear and I stop and put it on, so I will …

Be Safe!

Keith Steele

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