Monthly Archives: February 2017
In the late 1960s, Dick Butkus, Chicago Bears linebacker known for his bone-crunching hits and one of the famed Monsters of the Midway, was asked whether he felt regret about injuring other players. His reply? “I would never set out to hurt anybody deliberately-unless it was, you know, something important, like a league game or something.”
Buffalo Bills defensive end Chidi Ahanatu notorious for his many quarterback sacks, opened a local restaurant and naturally called it Sacks. His teammates began razzing him. “Why did you call it Sacks?” they taunted. It was the height of irony. Sheepishly, Chidi had to admit that he didn’t have a single sack in the season that the restaurant opened.
Bronco Nagurski, in a game against the New York Giants, was hit by opposing player Benny Friedman, who was attempting to tackle him. Nagurski ran another eleven yards before Friedman could take him down. Friedman said, “He hits hard enough to knock down a horse.” On the very next play, Nagurski was bashing his way into the end zone with such determination that he ran straight into a mounted policeman, bowling over both horse and rider. Returning to his feet, Nagurski, slightly dazed, declared, “That last man, hit me awful hard!”
Football is a game of tough hits. That’s why professional players suit up before every game with shoulder pads, helmet and other protective equipment. They naturally want to protect themselves from injury. Their livelihood depends on it.
Your livelihood depends on avoiding injury too. As a professional, you know that gloves, hard hats, respirators, hearing protection, safety shoes, goggles, face shields and protective clothing are your first line of defense against injury.
*Know what PPE is required for your job. Personal protective equipment is highly specialized. It’s designed to work for a particular job under specific circumstances.
*Always be sure to inspect all PPE for damage. If it’s damaged, report it. The equipment can’t protect you if it’s not intact.
*Make sure your protective gear fits properly. Fit is essential for respirators, ear protection and similar equipment that must seal out the hazards to protect.
They Always Use P.P.E., What About You?
* Copyright 2003 Harkins Safety B-165
Eagle Eye on Safety
There’s a very good reason people use the phrase “eagle eye” to describe someone who pays close attention to details. It’s because eagles have phenomenal eyesight, they never miss a thing.
An eagle can spot a rabbit moving almost a full mile away. If that’s not amazing enough, an eagle flying at an altitude of 1,000 feet over open country can spot prey over an area of almost three square miles! An eagle’s vision is so sharp that it can see fish in the water from several hundred feet above while soaring overhead.
What makes the eagle’s eyesight so acute? One reason is the fact that an eagle’s eyes have two centers of focus. This unique dual-focus enables the eagle to see objects in front as well objects on the side at the same time. Like humans, eagles can see in color and their eyes are almost the same size as ours, but their eyesight is four times sharper than a human’s with perfect vision. The iris of an eagle’s eye is also unique; it changes over time from dark brown to a yellow very similar to the color of its beak.
Once an eagle spots his prey, he approaches in a shallow, relaxed glide. Then in a flash, he dives, snatching the unsuspecting rabbit, rodent or fish in his powerful talons. An expert flier, the eagle can soar to altitudes of 10,000 feet and achieve speeds of 30 to 35 miles per hour. Yet surprisingly, about 40 percent of baby eagles do not survive their first flight. Apparently, despite their natural instincts, becoming an expert hunter and flier takes practice and training.
It’s the same for you on the job. Working safely takes practice and training, along with constant attention.
Remember, you don’t have the eagle’s sharp eyesight, but you still have to always keep a sharp eye for hazards. Attention is prevention. Staying aware, hour after hour, day after day, is one of your best tools for preventing accidents. But that alone isn’t enough.
You have specific safety rules, defined for your work site, your job and your industry. To stay safe, you have to learn the rules, know them and follow them. If you face a potentially unsafe situation, always ask your supervisor before you do anything. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Being safe also means making sure you have the right tool for the job, using the right personal protective equipment to prevent injuries and never, ever taking shortcuts.
Even though you don’t have the eagle’s ability to see in two directions at the same time, you have to act as if you have eyes in the back of your head when it comes to spotting and avoiding hazards-so YOU don’t become an endangered species.
You are Responsible, Do Your Best, Do it Safely
* Copyright 2005 Harkins Safety B-145