Make Time For Safety

Whether on the job or on personal time, Americans seem to always be in a hurry. Regardless the rush or time constraints, you should always make time for safety by wearing the proper safety gear for the job as well as using the correct tools. People have lost fingers, limbs, and even their lives by not following proper safety precautions. Here are a few safety reminders.
Be sure to always use proper form when lifting heavy boxes or other heavy objects. Use the leg and arm muscles to elevate the load, not the back muscles. While facing the load, lift with a smooth preventive maintenance meaning motion, holding the load close to the body. Never jerk or twist while lifting, as abrupt movements can cause back injury. Workers who lift frequently should consider wearing a back support belt.
Tools come with safety guards for a reason. Do not circumvent the use of such guards in order to work faster. I have two examples of preventable accidents to share. The first is of a friend who took the safety guard off his table saw to expedite his work and sawed the tip problems with machines of his thumb off at a 45 degree angle. The other example is of a friend who took the safety guard off his wood chipper in order to allow for larger tree limbs to fit. His glove got caught on a branch and he lost 3 fingers in the accident. Perhaps I need smarter friends.
Be sure to use the right tool for the job. A screwdriver may double as a paint stirrer without any problems, but do not use it as a pry bar. Besides ruining the tip, it can break off and flip up causing injury to the face or eyes.
This brings us to protective eyewear. Always wear goggles or protective eyewear when cutting or sanding wood, or anytime there is danger of particles flying into the eyes. Experts say that 90 percent of eye injuries are avoidable with proper precaution of protective eyewear. Bifocal safety glasses are available, alleviating the need to wear reading glasses under goggles.
Get proper training on any machine before using it. Sometimes this can be as simple as reading the instructions that came with the electric sander or as complex as taking a course on how to drive a forklift.
Forklifts are fascinating and look easy to operate. However, forklifts are powerful tools that require training for both operation of the vehicle as well as load distribution. Every year there are about 100 lives lost due to forklift accidents and another 20,000 serious injuries. OSHA, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, has strict laws to enforce training and maintenance for these workhorses. Unless you have received the proper training, give a forklift the respectful distance that it deserves.
Another OSHA imperative is to wear hard hats in areas designated as hard hat zones. Always put on a hard hat when entering such a zone, even if only for a few minutes. Don’t tempt Murphy’s Law.
Take time for safety by following these simple reminders and always use common sense and the proper tools to stay safe in a hurried world.

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