Monthly Archives: April 2018
The America’s Cup
It began in 1841, a full 45 years before the Modern Olympics. It attracts the top sailors and yacht designers from around the world. It’s named after the first yacht to win the trophy, the schooner America.
Yes, the America’s Cup is the biggest, most famous yacht race in the world-the Super Bowl and World Series of sailing all in one-with a fascinating history. In 1851, the schooner America raced 15 yachts around the Isle of Wight near Great Britain, and the America won. Queen Victoria asked who was second. The reply? “There is no second, your Majesty.”
Thus the lore of the America’s Cup was born. The British, stung by the loss, tried to win back the trophy, but the New York Yacht Club remained unbeaten for 25 challenges over 113 years, the longest winning streak in sailing’s history.
One of the most famous challengers was Scottish tea baron Sir Thomas Lipton, who attempted five unsuccessful challenges between 1899 and 1930, all in yachts named Shamrock. After World War II, the New York Yacht Club retained its winning streak in eight more races, from 1958 to 1980. But in 1983, the Australia II won easily over Dennis Connor’s Star & Stripes. Disappointed but unbowed, Connor returned with a newly designed boat, a new race plan and renewed confidence. In 1983, he prevailed and returned the cup to the New York Yacht Club.
By refusing to be sidetracked and keeping his eyes on the prize. Dennis Connor came back a winner. When we’re charting our course to safety, we need the same determination. Safety is vital to you, your coworkers, your company and your family. That’s why we have to stay alert to hazards–from keeping work areas clean and orderly to eliminating fire hazards to working safely with electricity to lifting and carrying properly. There’s a safe way to do the job and it’s your responsibility to know it. That way, you’re a winner every single day.
Will America be the winner in the upcoming 33rd America’s Cup? Time will tell. The race is scheduled to take place between 2009 and 2011 and promises boats that are bigger, sleeker, lighter and faster than ever. But one thing’s for sure—just as the captain and crew need to train, plan and prepare, we need to do the same on the job to stay safe. Because working safely every day is our idea of smooth sailing.
CHART A COURSE FOR SAFETY!
*Copyright 2008 Harkins Safety B229
Stop the Clock
Is it offense or defense that wins football games? Is it a star quarterback? Is it a Hail Mary play that pays off big? Not always. Truth is, sometimes what wins football games is a whole lot less exciting than spectacular plays or long-bomb passes.
Any coach will tell you. What wins football games is clock management. It’s the essence of football strategy.
Players can greatly influence the pace and outcome of a game simply by how they play. For example, they can play more slowly to use more time. This means ball carriers staying in bounds, quarterbacks not throwing incomplete passes and players huddling before every play.
Or teams can play faster when they want to save time on the clock. Ball carriers can get out of bounds once they’ve made their yardage, quarterbacks can throw as soon as possible after the snap and the offense can skip huddles altogether.
Clock management involves lots of other tactics as well. In fact, it’s so important that an entire book has been written about it -called Football Clock Management-and coaches everywhere are studying it.
They’re studying it because they know that every minute of the game is vital. Since games are four 15-minute quarters (plus timeouts and overtime), the hour or more of play is the sum total of all the team’s tactics.
Just as teams manage their time, we too have to take advantage of every minute and every hour in order to stay safe on the job. Safety is your responsibility.
Think about it. It’s up to you to decide to follow safety rules to the letter. It’s up to you to learn the right procedures and follow them. It’s up to you never to take chances or improvise. It’s up to you always to keep your work area clean and orderly. It’s up to you to make sure safety is included in your workday. Doing that takes good time management, just like winning takes good time management by the coach.
A lot of coaches wait until the end of the half before they start thinking about time management. But in reality, it should be on their minds from the very first play of the game.
Don’t wait until there’s an accident before you start thinking about safety. Make it your priority. Make it your first play of the day.
EVERY MINUTE, EVERY HOUR YOUR SAFETY IS IN YOUR POWER!
*COPYRIGHT 2009 HARKINS SAFETY B263
A Stunt With a Shark
You’ve heard it in conversation. You’ve probably even said it yourself—someone or something has “jumped the shark.” It’s a common expression, but where did it come from? It’s a fascinating story.
It all began, strangely enough with the popular TV show Happy Days. The show’s first episode aired in January 1974 and the series ran for a full ten years.
Happy Days was pure Americana as it told the story of Midwestern teenager Richie Cunningham, his family and his friends, Potsie Weber and Ralph Malph. But the character who really stood out was Arthur Fonzarelli-The Fonz. Wearing his trademark black leather jacket, the good natured greaser befriends Richie and becomes a friend of the family.
The fateful episode came in the fifth season. In it, the Cunninghams take a vacation to Hollywood with The Fonz. While there, Fonzi accepts a dare to don a pair of water skis and jump over a tank filled with man-eating sharks-while wearing a swimsuit and his black leather jacket of course.
The episode was so contrived and the special effects depicting Fonzie’s jump were so poorly done that it became the low-water mark of the series. As a result, the expression “jump the shark” has come to describe the point at which a sense of routine has set in and quality has begun to decline.
As the now infamous episode shows, complacency can turn up in unexpected places. But when it happens on the job, the consequences are anything but entertaining.
Complacency happens when you think you have all the job experience you need and know all the hazards just because you’ve done a task many times before without getting hurt. That’s dangerous thinking and it leaves you open to injury.
It’s vital to approach every task, no matter how familiar with fresh eyes. Stop and think before you start. Double check the safety procedures. Consider all the possible hazards. As you work, keep your awareness sharp at all times.
After Happy Days jumped the shark, it went on for another five years in decline. But we can’t afford to be in decline on the job. We can’t afford to be complacent, not even for one day, not even in one task. There’s too much at stake—your livelihood, your health, your safety, not to mention your self-respect as a pro. Don’t let your job experience lull you into complacency. Better to bring all your experience to bear on staying safe.
HAZARDS LURK IN COMPLACENT WORK
Stay Alert-Make Caution Your Routine
*Copyright 2011 Harkins Safety (B278)
Good As Gold
It dates back to the Byzantine Empire, but its residual effects were seen in the U.S. as recently as 1971. What is it?
It’s the gold standard, an economic policy as old as civilization itself.
Under the gold standard, the value of money is based on the value of gold. In olden days, money was gold coins, so there was only as much money in circulation as there was gold. In more modern times, paper money represented a value in gold and could be exchanged for gold upon demand.
The United States adopted the gold standard in 1873. Most other countries, including the United Kingdom, used it too. But the U.S. dropped the gold standard in 1933 after the World Wars and The Great Depression. The problem was that the gold standard prevented the U.S. government from deficit spending to finance wars. Some say the gold standard even prolonged The Great Depression because the government couldn’t expand the money supply when it needed to. In 1971 President Richard Nixon put an end to the ability to convert a dollar bill on demand into an equal value of gold.
Still, the gold standard remains controversial. Some say the U.S. should adopt it again as a way to limit federal spending. Others say the gold standard would lead to deflation and put the brakes on economic growth.
Those are the theories. But no matter which side is right, the fact is gold has always been and will always be valuable. Even so, it’s nowhere near as valuable as your safety, something no amount of gold can buy. So here are just a few ways to make sure that you stay safe all day, every day.
*Follow every safety rule and regulation. That’s like money in the bank.
*Never take risks or short cuts.
*Clean up and organize your work area every day. Make it a habit just like putting money into your savings account.
*Stay alert to potential hazards and always report unsafe conditions and near misses, so they can be corrected.
*Watch out for fire hazards.
These are just a few of the ways to work safely. There are many more. Take the time to learn all you can about safety. That knowledge is precious because you are a vital part of our team and your safety is worth everything.
In fact, it’s priceless. Always strive for zero injuries, zero accidents and zero near misses. That’s our gold standard.
YOU. THE REASON WE VALUE SAFETY
*COPYRIGHT 2010 Harkins Safety (B273)