Race cars are marked with racing stripes. People who race on the job are marked with cuts, bruises, and bandages.
There are places to race and places not to race. Speed belongs on the race track, not in the workplace.
Almost everyone has been guilty of speeding through a job. We forget, until it’s too late, that “haste makes waste.”
When we hurry on the job, we accomplish little, other than to increase our chances of an unsafe act happening. Let’s look at some “hurry-up” acts. Which ones have you caught yourself doing?
- Didn’t wear safety glasses because the job would take only a few minutes.
- Used the wrong ladder because the proper one was too far away.
- Didn’t use the proper lockout procedures because you could fix it yourself or no one would be around anyway.
- Took a short cut between machinery or stockpiles of materials.
- Used a wrench instead of a hammer which was in your toolbox on the other side of the room.
- Climbed a ladder with tools stuck in your pocket, or in your hand, because you didn’t have a tool belt.
- Cut the grounding prong off a three-way ground wire plug because you didn’t have an adapter.
- Removed a guard to repair your machine, or for a special run, but haven’t got around to putting it back yet.
- Reached “just-a-little-bit-further” on the ladder so you didn’t have to get down and move it.
- Used a dull saw blade for just one more cut.
- Climbed up the side of a bin instead of getting a ladder.
- Didn’t unplug a power tool before making adjustments, because you would only have to plug it in again.
- Gave a fork-lift truck just a little more “pedal” so you could get one more load in before lunch.
- Laid a board down, full of nails, with the intention of bending the nails over “in a minute.”
- Didn’t slow down, this time, at a blind corner, because you never saw anyone there before.
The list is endless. Do they sound familiar? Too familiar? Sometimes when you hurry, nothing bad happens. Other times there may be “near misses,” but eventually a serious injury will occur. It is only a matter of time. Is it really worth your eyesight, your limbs, or even your life to save those few minutes?
When hurrying on the job, you don’t end up speeding up the work, you just speed up your chances of an accident.
Hurry up can hurt.
Practice safety -Don’t learn it through accidental experience.