As a former safety manager in petrochemical plants I am a strong believer that ALL injuries can be avoided with proper planning, tools, and safety equipment.
I didn't always think this way. When I began as a young carpenter building scaffolding up to as high as 600 feet, I thought sometimes accidents were just inevitable. As I gained more experience and saw accidents firsthand however, I changed my position. ALL accidents are preventable.
Most accidents occur from three reasons. The worker hasn't take the time to assess the situation and decide on the best course of action to complete the task at hand or the worker is rushing to try to beat some kind of deadline or get a task finished before quitting time. The third is not having the proper equipment or tools to complete the job safely.
Let's analyze these individually. When I worked in the petrochemical plant, workers usually worked in teams of at least two or three people. What we advised an instructed was for them to openly discuss the job at hand, the different methods to get the job done and the items needed to do the job safely. Nothing was done until they had agreed upon all of this and had acquired everything that was needed to accomplish the job in a safe manner. We had several thousand employees and went two years without a lost work day accident in an environment that is highly susceptible to accidents.
There is never a reason to rush a job at the expense of safety. Rushing inhibits proper planning and clear thinking and invariably will result in an accident, poor workmanship, or both. It doesn't make sense to rush when you know that the odds are if you get through it without injury you will have to do it over or even worse, you may not survive it.
There is never a reason not to have the proper tools and equipment to do a job. The rule is quite simple, if you do not have the tools and equipment to do the job safely don't begin the job. This is one of the big contributors I have seen to injuries in the workplace and it is usually in combination with rushing.
These are the basic suggestions I will make to you if you want to return home with everything you came to work with.
Wear appropriate gloves to protect your hands from cuts, burns, and abrasions.
Wear safety glasses to prevent foreign objects from getting in your eyes.
Wear ear plugs to keep noise levels from permanently damaging your hearing.
If you are involved in work that involves heavy lifting, wear a back support.
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