Monday, October 18, 2010

Safety: Over Rated?

I feel the need to post something on safety. There will be some that disagree and some that think that I am too strict. The company I work for in the recent past just hired a risk management manager. I am not sure what he does entirely except print out safety manuals, have safety award parties and implement safety rules. He is big on “Safety First” and just adopted the slogan from a company contest of “Make safety your first priority.” I say that is completely untrue and false security. If safety really was our first priority we would never leave the house. I would propose safety is all about risk management: What are you willing to risk and can you live with the consequences? For example, I work 30 miles away and have to go through one of the worst freeway interchanges in Southern California. I have been in two accidents in the area of the interchange in the four years that I have worked for this company. Neither were serious or my fault. If safety was first in my life I would not have taken that job because of the commute alone. I also would not work in a job that required excessive typing in fear of arthritis in my hands. However I feel the risk is adequate for my compensation. Let’s face it would any mothers have given birth if safety was first? Would men ask women out on dates in fear of being turned down(not a very good example in this day and age any more)? Would there be any progression if safety was first? So this post is going to be more on risk taking rather than on safety first.

In life we take risks every day, some have physical consequences and others are financial and some maybe psychological. We all put up safety nets to protect us from the potential dangers of life. It may be the car we drive, a savings account, our friends, or maybe it is sun block. The same applies with wood working. I am well aware of the dangers and risks involved in woodworking and I am willing to take them. I do have several pieces of equipment that are extremely dangerous and potentially deadly. I have some safety nets that I have when using the equipment. I will share a couple with you in the next few posts.

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