We Know Better!

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Most of us have the necessary knowledge and experience to do our jobs and most of don't want to hurt ourselves or others. Why, then, do we often ignore our good friend "common sense" and set ourselves or others up for an accidental injury?

Human nature has us believing that the odds are in our favor and although it could happen, it won't happen to us.

  • Carbon monoxide can kill - but we sometimes work in a closed garage with our automobile engine running!
  • A bump on the head hurts - but we don't think about that for a minute when we walk under an overhead load!
  • A circular saw can cut off a finger - but we go right ahead and operate a saw without a guard!
  • There is a safe way to climb a ladder, which we use here at work - but we take a chance and fall from a ladder while painting our house!
  • Excessive speed in an automobile may cause an accident - but we try it anyhow and wrap the family car around a tree!
  • Radioactive fallout is dangerous - but we think nothing about leaving household poisons around where kids can get at them!
  • It is dangerous for children to run out in front of cars - but we drag them across the street on the red light!
  • It is important for teenagers to learn safe driving habits - but we violate a traffic law with our teenage son or daughter right in the car with us!
  • A loose board on a stairway can trip someone - but we don't bother to report it!
  • Grease and oil spills can cause a nasty fall - but we "forget" that we should cover these spills with oil absorbent material!
  • Tools and parts can become falling objects or we can trip over them - but we fail to put them back where they belong!
  • We know an unsafe condition when we see one - but we pay no attention to material or trucks in the aisles!
  • We know an unsafe act when we see one - but we oil, adjust, or try to fix a machine without even bothering to stop it!
  • We shouldn't take a chance when operating equipment - but we drive a forklift truck with the load carried high and try to turn a corner while going too fast!
  • We can't fool safety devices - be we remove or fasten a machine guard so it won't give us the protection we need!
  • It is dangerous for us to block fire-fighting equipment - but we pile boxes and cartons in front of fire extinguishers and store material right up to the underside of sprinklers.
  • We should wear protective equipment - but we wear our goggles around our neck and leave our hard hat in our locker, our car, or on the shelf while at work.
  • Horseplay causes a lot of injuries - but we blast Gus with an air hose just for the heck of it.

I realize that we all know better and I'm sure that most of you aren't guilty of doing the many things that I have covered. But you'll have to admit that some of these things are a possibility, even for each of us with all our knowledge of the safe way of doing things.

Yes, we know better! But, since knowing is only half the job, we must act on our knowledge to be safe.


This toolbox topic was reviewed by ______________________________________ on ___________________________ with the following employees: