Monthly Archives: July 2018

A Message About Incident, Accident Prevention

Right Person, Right Place

Have you ever wondered if you would know what to do if you found yourself right in the middle of a life-threatening accident scene? Gary Myers, the captain of a 54-foot charter fishing boat, was one of the three boaters who knew what to do and just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

Here’s the story. Gary was deep sea fishing in the Gulf stream about 40 miles off the North Carolina coast when he first noticed the Navy F-14 Tomcat. “It looked like the pilot was diving and doing a barrel roll and I just started watching,” Meyers said. “Then it looked like the plane went into a flat spin and about that time I saw two men eject.”

The aviators, members of Fighter Squadron 102, based at Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach, Virginia, were practicing dogfight maneuvers as part of a routine training mission.

The $30 million fighter plane was still in one piece when Myers saw it hit the water about three miles from his boat. The small boat operators reacted quickly. The commercial fisherman and the pleasure boat operator were the first to reach the two Navy fliers and pulled them out of the water almost immediately. The two fliers were transferred to Myers’ larger boat so they could be airlifted to a Navy hospital by helicopter.

Later the pilot said the fishermen were a welcome sight. If the three small boats had not been in the right place, or if Myers, the fisherman or the pleasure boat operator had failed to take swift action, the two Navy men might well have been lost in the Atlantic.

Safety on land, at sea and in the air requires every individual to take responsibility for his or her own safety and the safety of others. If we know how to work safely, follow the rules and look out for each other, we can make our work place an injury free environment.

The Navy pilot and his crewman were rescued because they followed their own safety procedures and others were close by who knew what to do. Take your safety training, work rules and your personal protective equipment seriously. You can stay incident-free if you follow standard practices and use your safety know-how every day.

The best way to avoid the pain and suffering of an injury is to remember that safety depends on you. Only you can do your job the safe way. Follow all safe work procedures that apply to your job. Observe all safety rules. Keep alert to avoid hazards at work, at home and on the road.

STAY INCIDENT-FREE

It’s Your Responsibility

*Copyright 2005 Harkins Safety B197

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A Message About Preventing Strains, Sprains and Safe Lifting

Weigh In On Safety

Can you think of an athletic contest that requires participants to compete barefoot, naked to the waist and begins with a ritual of pounding the floor, tossing salt and a staring match? While the sport is not well-known in North America, the highly specialized form of Japanese Sumo wrestling uses all of these characteristics as part of a pre-match ritual.

The most notable feature of sumo wrestlers is their weight.  The average champion weighs about 360 pounds, but a few weigh as much as 600.  To achieve this great weight they intentionally eat great quantities of food and practice a form of abdominal development.

Each sumo contest begins with an opening ceremony.  Two opponents enter the ring and after flexing their muscles, scatter handfuls of salt around the ring.  Then they crouch, pound the floor with their fists and engage in a staring match to try to shake their opponent’s confidence.

Their great weight gives the wrestlers a low center of gravity, which helps them propel an adversary out of the ring.  The winner is the one who can throw his opponent down or force him out of the ring. Since there are no weight categories, a smaller wrestler must rely on speed and skill to make up for any difference in size.  A combination of size and agility usually wins.

In our business, we don’t place any premium on size, but we do concentrate on working safely.  Since we can’t call a sumo wrestler to help move heavy objects, we need to use mechanical means and follow the rules for safe lifting to avoid strains. A sumo wrestler never turns his back on his opponent.  We can’t afford to turn our backs on safety. If you know how to lift, you can avoid painful back injuries.

Safe lifting starts with your legs.  The strongest muscles in your body are in your legs.  To lift safely you need to get as close to the object as you can.  Keep your back straight, bend at the knees not the waist, grasp the object with both hands and gradually straighten up.  Hold heavy objects close to your body so your arm and leg muscles do the work, not your back.  Bend at the knees and don’t twist your body when you lift.

Sumos sometimes use this same lifting posture to grasp an opponent around the waist and march him out of the ring. This takes great strength and lots of practice.  Safe lifting and avoiding strains and sprains also takes practice. Remember strains and sprains are preventable.

*Lift with your legs, not your back.

*Carry heavy loads close to your body.

*Avoid twisting.

*Work at waist level when possible, bend and reach within limits.

*Keep tools and equipment in proper working order.

*Watch where you walk.  Make sure your route is clear of tripping hazards.

*Stretch daily to increase flexibility

Stay Aware Strains & Sprains can Happen Anywhere

*Copyright 2003 Harkins Safety B166

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