Yeah, yeah, I know you’ve heard the title of this blog before. Someone telling you that YOU are the one person most responsible for your own safety.
“But I’m working with a bunch of other folks – can’t one of them watch out for me?”
The answer to that question is NO. While the old adage of “safety in numbers” holds true for many things, on the jobsite the one person ultimately responsible for your safety is you.
Show of hands here. Who all watched (or still watches) The Three Stooges? Who laughed when Moe became the victim of Curly’s innocent use of dynamite/pick axe/blow torch? Fun workplace accidents! Now stop and consider.
Making those comedy shorts was their JOB. Precautions were taken and moves were planned out in advance. However, accidents could, and did, happen on the set. In this clip, www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODFMXGmd0Tw , Curly cuts through a board with a circular saw and Moe takes a fierce tumble – which actually ended with him breaking a couple of ribs. Yet he gets up, and manages a double slap to Larry and Curly. Watch carefully, because as soon as the slap is administered, the scene changes to a close up shot. That’s because production had to resume later when Moe was feeling better!
Unfortunately, there’s nothing funny about not calling 811 for a line locate and then cutting into a gas line or electric line. There won’t be a retake, and it’s quite possible that your life won’t resume later, either.
The Stooges worked with a script, and so should you when excavating. And the first line of your script is always “Hello, 811? I’m planning a dig and need to get underground lines located.”
Improvisation on a work site is never a good idea.
Oh, yeah – make sure you wear your goggles and hardhat.
Until next week, safe digging!