A Message About Safety Rules, Hazards, Corrective Action, Lock Out Tag Out

A Simple Violation

It was a simple violation, but it cost golf great Nick Faldo his victory in the British Open, one of golf’s most prestigious tournaments.  Here’s what happened on that historic day.

In the first round of the tournament, Faldo followed his tee shot down the 17th fairway and went through his usual pre-shot routine.  He deliberated about which club to use, checked the wind, looked down the fairway, tugged at his shirt, hitched up his pants and finally took his swing to send the ball toward the green.

Immediately upon launching the ball into the air, he had a shocking realization-he had hit the wrong ball!  It belonged to his competitor, Jim McGovern.  The rules in golf specifically say that the penalty for hitting the wrong ball is two strokes, a tremendous demerit in the unforgiving world of elite golf.

Counting one stroke for his tee shot and two more for the violation, Faldo’s next stroke with the right ball was his fourth. He finished the par-5 hole with a hideous eight and eventually completed the tournament a dismal seven strokes behind Nick Price.

The intricate and numerous rules of golf seem maddeningly complicated to non-players or even to some weekend duffers, but for Nick Faldo and other professional golfers, a simple mental lapse means the difference between victory and defeat.

On the job, it’s just as important for us to know and follow all the safety rules.  Doing so can mean the difference between staying safe and falling victim to an accident.  Each and every day on the job, be sure to…

*Identify and report any safety hazard you see.

*Take the time to keep your work area clean and orderly.

*Lift safely with your legs, not your back.

*Stay cool—don’t let anger or frustration get the better of you.

*Look for potential fire hazards and eliminate them.

*Always lock out/tag out when repairing or maintaining equipment.

*Check with your safety supervisor for more guidelines.

One simple violation cost Nick Faldo the championship, but one simple safety violation on the job can cost you a lot more.  It can cost you your health, your well-being, possibly even your life. The safety rules are there to protect us.  Only you can decide to follow them to the letter every day on the job.  Remember…

SAFELY DOES IT!   IDENTIFY HAZARDS, TAKE CORRECTIVE ACTION.

*COPYRIGHT 2006 Harkins Safety B220

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