Shortcuts Can Be Killers

Most of us have the skills and knowledge to do our jobs well and no one wants to get hurt or do something to hurt one of our co-workers. So why then do we take safety “shortcuts?” The following is a list of safety “shortcuts” that are all too common on construction sites. (Feel free to add or substitute the safety “shortcuts” you see at your operation.)

1. We know what safety guards do – but we remove those guards to save a few extra seconds!

2. We shouldn’t take a chance when operating heavy equipment – yet we don’t use the seat belt.

3. We know that flames or sparks are not permitted around flammables – but some of us smoke around them anyway.

4. A protruding nail can cause a serious injury – but we don’t bother to remove it or bend it over.

5. Horseplay can cause injuries on the job – but many of us continue to play practical jokes.

6. A circular saw can easily cut off a finger – but we still “jam” the guard and make it useless.

7. We know the safe way to climb a ladder – but climb it with our hands full of tools anyway.

8. We should wear our PPE, such as our safety glasses – but still leave the glasses in our truck.

9. We know better than to use chemicals without reading the label or the MSDS – but we use the chemical anyway.

10. A bump or bruise to the head can hurt, and hurt badly – but we still don’t use our hardhats.

11. It’s dangerous to block firefighting equipment – but we stack materials in front of fire extinguishers anyway.

13. We know not to work within 10 feet of a power line – but there’s just one more load of steel to be unloaded and it won’t happen to me.

This is a short list. You can probably think of many more because we all, at one time or another, have been guilty of taking safety “shortcuts.” Usually, we’re attempting to save some time. But your life and health are far too important to risk, just to save a few seconds.