Monthly Archives: February 2016

A Safety Message About Slips Trips & Falls, Tool Safety, Housekeeping (1)

“A Clean Shot”

You’ve heard about the fastest gun in the west.  Here’s the story of the slowest gun in the world, a gun that took 214 years to fire.

On the afternoon of May 11, 1745, a French soldier was loading his musket in the closing moments of the Battle of Fontenoy.  Before he had time to fire again, the battle ended.  The French had defeated the British, and the relieved soldier shouldered his musket and returned home.

With the musket packed away, years passed. Over two centuries later, the gun was discovered.  A gunsmith in Nimes, France, was commissioned by a collector to remove the rust and restore the weapon to its original condition.  He evaluated the gun and began gently sanding the firing mechanism and cleaning the top aperture for the flint.

But as he tried to free the corroded trigger, it suddenly moved all the way, releasing a flash of flame and smoke, narrowly missing the gunsmith’s wife in the next room. After 214 years, the slowest gun in the world had fired.  No one would expect an antique gun to be loaded with powder and shot, but this one was.

Many of the things we do on the job can be unexpectedly dangerous.  That’s why good housekeeping is so important to help reduce risk.

Put trash in its place.  Clutter in your work area gets in the way, causes frustration and distracts you from your job—and from safety.  Why put up with it? Dispose of trash and clutter, and stay safe.

Keep aisles and walkways clear.  Trash and clutter that obstruct walkways cause slip and fall accidents, which you can and should prevent.

Wipe up spills and shavings.  Grease and oil make surfaces dangerously slick.  Metal, wood and other shavings can cause accidents and injuries.  Clean these substances up as you work.

Store materials securely.  Keep paints, chemicals and other materials neat and organized.

Return tools to their proper place.  Not only is it safer to put tools back after you use them, you’ll work more efficiently too.

*Copyright 2010 Harkins Safety



A Safety Message About Slips Trips & Falls, Tool Safety, Housekeeping (2)

“Keep It Safe”

What did Whitey Ford, Johnny Unitas and Henry Ford all have in common?  All three understood the importance of dirt!  Have you ever seen a baseball pitcher stop the game long enough to rearrange the dirt around the pitching mound?

Or a quarterback asking the referee to wipe the rain or mud off the football?  These professional athletes know very well how disastrous a little dirt in the wrong place can be.  A pitcher who stubs his toe in the hole created by his spikes can stumble and fall trying to field a bunt—and in an instant he could have the tying run on base.  On a rainy day, officials frequently change to a dry ball to help avoid fumbles or bad passes.  In fact, a towel is essential equipment for quarterbacks to keep the ball and their hands clean and dry before every play.

While dirt can affect an athlete’s performance, Henry Ford believed it could undermine any business.  Once asked what he would do if he had to take over a business that had failed, Ford said, “No business I know of ever went to the wall without accumulating a vast pile of dirt. The dirt and all that goes with it, untidy methods-thoughtless actions—and negligence…all helped to cause the failure.  The first thing I would do…is to clean up that business.” Ford felt that an untidy workplace was an indication of how the entire business was run.

Ford was not only the brains behind the assembly line but he also knew the value of a clean workplace and insisted on good housekeeping in his plants. We need to use his wisdom to make our jobs, not only clean and productive—but safe.  Clean aisles and walkways—uncluttered stairs—and tidy storage areas will keep you from being sidelined by poor housekeeping.

When a pitcher takes the time to smooth out the area where he works –he knows he may be preventing a slip, a twisted ankle, or a fall. We can prevent bad falls and serious injuries by cleaning up oil and grease spills, reporting torn or worn carpeting, and by picking up scrap and clutter.

Just as the quarterback takes pride in his passing percentages, we can be proud of our workplace and at the same time protect our coworkers from the pain and suffering that comes from injuries.

It pays to be neat on the job.  As the pros have learned-the way we keep our place of business reflects our attitudes toward our work and influences our safety performance.  You will find that one of the first rules of safety survival is to keep your own work area clean.




*Copyright 2004 Harkins Safety



A Safety Message About Slips Trips & Falls, Tool Safety, Housekeeping, Fire Hazards (3)

“Mr Clean”

When you’re talking about cleaning, there’s one face everyone recognizes.  He was created when soap-maker Proctor & Gamble wanted to capture some of the lucrative liquid cleanser market, then dominated by Lestoil.

Searching for an angle, Proctor & Gamble found advertising agency Tatham-Laird, Inc.  The agency’s creative staff got down to work, and the idea they came up with, after days of brainstorming, was a brawny, bald-headed man with a gold ring in his left ear.

The creative staff got an animator to draw the character and even wrote a jingle for him. They called him Mr. Clean.

That was 1958, and Mr. Clean is still going strong today.  Just how strong?

Mr. Clean, one of America’s most recognized faces, will compete in the America’s Favorite Icon contest with the likes of Tony the Tiger, Smokey Bear, and Ready Kilowatt to see who is the most popular advertising mascot.

While popularity and name recognition may earn the title for MR. Clean, we all win when our workplace is cleaner and safer.

So how’s your housekeeping?

Are your tools, chemicals, and machinery stored in their proper places?  When everything’s clean, organized and properly labeled, you reduce spills, chemical incidents, fire hazards, slips, trips and falls.

Is the clutter removed?  Through-out the day, pick up trash and clutter and dispose of it.  Sweep up dust, sawdust and scraps too.  You’ll be safer and more productive without clutter in your way.

What about spills?  Do you clean up or report them immediately?  Take action immediately on spills, especially if it’s chemical or a flammable.  You don’t want to risk a fire or chemical incident.  Even an ordinary liquid when left on the floor becomes a hazard that could cause a painful slip and fall.  Why risk it?

Are walkways clear?  Be sure to remove debris and obstructions from walkways, doorways and stairways.  When walkways and stairs are blocked with tools, cords and clutter a hazard is created.  Not only for falls but it’s a fire hazard too.  You can eliminate this hazard just by keeping all walking areas clear.  It’s a simple solution to what can be a very painful problem.

Worn or damaged flooring?  Report it.  If you see loose flooring or worn carpet, say something.  Don’t put yourself or your coworkers at risk from something as easily correctable as this.

These simple tips will keep you safer, improve your productivity and demonstrate that you’re a pro.  Mr. Clean couldn’t be more proud.

Cleaner is Safer.  How’s your housekeeping?

*Copyright 2005 Harkins Safety

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A Safety Message About Commercial Driving Safety, Seat Belts & Attitude (2)

“The Thousand Miles”

All of Italy turns out every year for the Mille Miglia, one of the most exciting car races in motor sport. It is a celebration of tradition, passion and speed. It is where marques like Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Ferrari and Porsche made their legends. But it is also marked by tragedy.

The Mille Miglia, which means “The Thousand Miles” in Italian, was established by two wealthy racing enthusiasts who decided to create their own motorcar race when the Italian Grand Prix was yanked from their hometown of Brescia. They chose a course from Brescia to Rome and back, a distance of 1,000 Roman miles. The first race in 1927 had 75 starters, all Italian and the winner finished in under 21 hours.

The cars in the Mille Miglia were started in one-minute intervals. But the drivers were daring, and racing was dangerous.

In the 1930 Mille Miglia, Tazio Nuvolari drove like a demon to pass every car in sight. When he caught the last challenger, he turned off his headlights to remain undetected, followed the leader’s taillights, then shot ahead to win.

Nuvolari’s maneuver may have paid off on the racetrack but it wouldn’t be worth the risk in everyday traffic. Instead, when you’re behind the wheel:

  • Obey all the rules of the road.
  • Be alert to constantly changing traffic and road conditions.
  • Leave yourself extra braking distance when driving large vehicles.
  • Always wear your seat belt and insist that passengers do as well.
  • Make sure that your vehicle is safe to operate.
  • Don’t take chances-it isn’t worth risking an accident that could injure you or someone else.

Always follow the rules and go the extra mile for safety and you’ll have many accident- free years down the road.

In the 1957 Mille Miglia, a fatal crash took the lives of a driver, his co-driver and 11 spectators in the Italian village of Guidizzolo. It was caused by a blown tire, later found to be defective.

The Mille Miglia resumed one year after that fatal crash, but as a road rally for classic pre-1957 cars, not an all-out race. Renamed the Mille Miglia Storica, it draws historic car lovers from all over the world to this day.

Remember that you’re in the race for the long run. Use your safety smarts, keep a cool head, stop and think and always…


Drive Defensively,

Stay Alert, Use Seat Belts

* Copyright 2006 Harkins Safety

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A Safety Message About Commercial Driving Safety, Seat Belts & Attitude (1)

“Speed Kills; Safety Saves”

Barreling into the banked corner at the Daytona 500, Dale Earnhardt the legendary No. 3, smashed head-on into the wall in one of the most tragic crashed in NASCAR history. Earnhardt was killed instantly. Ironically it was the final lap of the race.

In fourth place at the time Earnhardt entered that fateful turn at 180 mph when he grazed the car beside him. Earnhardt’s car swerved sharply to the right and was hit broadside by yet another car, catapulting Earnhardt on into the wall. As horrified fans gasped, the rescue teams sprang into action. But it was too late.

In the aftermath of the accident, a $1 million investigation raised questions but revealed little. Some claimed that Earnhardt’s seatbelt ripped apart in the crash. His head hit either the steering wheel or the support behind the seat and the impact killed him. Others said Earnhardt’s crew didn’t fit the belt properly before the race. Still others insisted that the head-and-neck restraint, which Earnhardt didn’t like to use, would have saved his life.

Whatever the reason, Earnhardt, known as the Intimidator for his aggressive driving style, had reached the end of an illustrious career. No more trophies, no more Winner’s Circle. It remains a tragic loss.

Race car driving is a dangerous game, but so is everyday driving on our nation’s highways if you fail to follow the rules of safe driving.

  • Stay alert for road signs. Traffic signs are there for your safety; use them.
  • Anticipate changing conditions. Traffic patterns change constantly. Sudden rain, snow or fog could threaten safety within minutes. Expect the unexpected.
  • Wear safety belts. It’s not only a good idea, it’s the law.
  • Don’t drink and drive. Alcohol and drugs impair judgement and reduce reaction time.
  • Beware of big vehicles. Trucks and other large vehicles require greater breaking distance and are more prone to tipovers if turned sharply. Keep that in mind when you’re driving larger vehicles or driving with them on the highways. And always use extra caution around school buses.
  • Don’t tailgate. It’s unsafe and discourteous. Drive friendly.
  • Allow enough following distance for traffic and road conditions.
  • Avoid road rage. Anger has no place behind the wheel. Stay cool, stay safe.


* Copyright 2002 Harkins Safety




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