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)
Prevent is for Pros
You’re the coach of an NFL team. Your players, bruised and tired, have battled it out with heart. Here’s the situation you’re faced with now. It’s the fourth quarter, two minutes left in the game. You’re ahead by 17 points. But the opposing team has the ball. And a lot can happen in two minutes.
Naturally, you want to keep players in bounds to keep the clock running. The other team, of course wants to get out of bounds to stop the clock. You don’t care whether they make a lot of short gains, as long as that clock keeps running down. The problem is, they might go for a Hail Mary play, and if they pull it off, there goes your victory.
What’s your call?
Like most NFL coaches, you’ll probably pull your defense back into a zone. Your safeties and cornerbacks are five to ten yards back. Your free safety is 20 yards back. Your defensive backs are watching the other team’s QB instead of matching strides with the receivers. You might give up a short play, but a big play of 20 yards or more is all but impossible.
Congratulations! You picked the prevent defense, and you won the game. Although many fans hate the prevent defense, coaches often use it to protect their lead and win. For that reason, it’s a smart play.
You make a smart play every single day on the job when you take pro-active steps to protect your safety. How?
*Stay alert-always. Don’t let boredom or familiarity with a job lull you into carelessness. That’s when accidents happen.
*Look for hazards. Instead of taking safety for granted, always be on the lookout for anything that can go wrong.
*Practice good housekeeping. Clutter and improperly stored chemicals are major hazards. Avoid them just by cleaning up.
*Wear the right Personal Protective Equipment if your job demands it. PPE is prevention in action. Without it you risk your sight, your hearing, your hands…why risk injury? Think ahead and stay protected.
*Never, ever operate a machine without the proper guards. Improperly used, machines can be dangerous.
These are just some ways to be pro-active about safety. Ask your supervisor for more, because when you prevent an accident, you protect yourself. And that’s the name of the game.
Prevent and Protect.
Be Pro-Active about Safety
- COPYRIGHT 2005 HARKINS SAFETY B-205
Heroes Under Fire
Can you name the firefighter who became a household name, pioneered modern-day techniques and equipment, and was even immortalized in a John Wayne film? If you answered Red Adair, you’re right.
Born in Texas in 1915, Adair left school to work in the Texas oil fields. In 1939, he joined Texas oil-fire expert Myron Kinley and worked with him for 14 years, learning how to fight oil well fires. Later he formed the Red Adair Company.
Adair pioneered modern-day Wild Well Control techniques and equipment, and made a name for himself as the number one oil-well firefighter in the world. He and his team averaged over 42 oil well fires and blowouts per year, inland and offshore, all over the world, completing over 1,000 jobs internationally.
In 1962 Adair battled a gas fire in Kuwait known as the Devil’s Cigarette Lighter. Burning for six months, the fire shot up 450-foot flames, said to be visible by the Astronaut John Glen while orbiting the earth. Adair fought the fire with 500 tons of explosives and eventually capped the well. Years later, his feat was celebrated in the film Hellfighters starring John Wayne.
The Piper Alpha offshore oil-drilling disaster in the North Sea in 1988 was another challenge. Adair not only battled huge flames after an explosion on the platform but also had to fight off 80-mph winds and 70-foot waves.
In 1991 following the Gulf War with Iraq, Adair and his team extinguished 117 of the burning oil well fires ignited by Sadam Hussein’s troops retreating from Kuwait. Adair had the fires extinguished in a record nine months.
For firefighters like Red Adair, knowing how to handle firefighting equipment is a part of the job. And while you may never have to fight an oil well fire, know-how is part of your job too. Make sure you know where the fire extinguishers in your plant are located and know the right fire extinguisher to use for each class of fire. Remember, only trained employees should use fire extinguishers. Don’t be a hero-the risks are too great.
Fire prevention is the best policy, so look out for hazards like these:
*Electrical fires can be caused by overloaded fuses, bad wiring, loose connections and sparks.
*Chemical fires are deadly. Always check MDSs for fire prevention information.
*Flammable liquids like oil, gas and kerosene give off vapors that can travel long distances and ignite.
*Compressed gasses have flash points below room temperature. Even small leaks can ignite.
*Clutter in the work area is a major cause of fires. Good housekeeping is the smart prevention strategy.
FIRE PREVENTION KNOW-HOW
KNOW WHERE THIS IS, KNOW HOW TO USE IT.
- COPYRIGHT 2004 Harkins Safety B-188
” Finish First ”
He learned how to drive by running moonshine in North Carolina and went on to become a NASCAR legend. Let’s take a glimpse at the fascinating life of Junior Johnson.
Born Robert Glen Johnson Jr., in 1931 in North Carolina. Junior Johnson grew up on a farm in Wilkes County. He ran the moonshine that his father made in a homemade still, and even served 11 months in prison after a dust up with Federal agents at the still in the Carolina mountains.
Junior eventually traded the moonshine runs for the racetrack. The all-out, go-for-broke driving that Junior showed on the back roads of Carolina transferred easily to the paved straightaways and banked curves of NASCAR. In his first season, he won five races and finished sixth in the 1955 NASCAR Grand National points standing.
After his short stretch in prison, Junior returned to NASCAR in 1958 and won six races. The following year, he won five more NASCAR Grand National races and made his reputation as one of the best drivers ever.
But his biggest win came in 1960 when he finished first at the Daytona 500. It was during his preparation for that historic race when he accidentally discovered the idea of drafting. By following extremely close to the car in front, Junior found that he could travel in the first car’s slipstream, reducing strain on his car and gaining additional speed. That’s how Junior won Daytona against faster, higher-powered cars.
Just as Junior Johnson found ways to drive smarter and win, we can find ways to work smarter when it comes to safety. For example, always….
*Practice good housekeeping to avoid slips, trips and falls.
*Br alert to fire prevention and know where extinguishers are located.
*Lift carefully with your legs—not your back.
*Handle chemicals with care and always read SDSs.
*Inspect your tools and keep them in good working order.
*Check with your safety supervisor for more safety smart tips.
Recognize that safety is a highly regarded value at your company and work accordingly, because slip-ups can happen to anyone, even to Junior Johnson.
The worst crash Junior had was at the World 600 in Charlotte. Junior was driving full-throttle with a two-lap lead when a spectator threw a bottle onto the track, causing Junior to crash.
When Junior retired in 1966, he had an amazing 50 victories to his credit. Why not make your safety record one of victory over accidents? You can do it by working safely each and every day. Remember…
START YOUR SHIFT WITH SAFETY IN GEAR!
* Copyright Harkins Safety 2006
“Watch Your Step”
If there is a dream team in the sport of mountain climbing, this was it. Legendary mountaineers Peter Hillary, Peter Athans, Brent Bishop, Peter Ligate and a team of porters and support personnel had reached Camp 2 in their assault on Mt. Everest. But one of them wouldn’t make it back down.
They reached Camp 3 after days of arduous climbing at an oxygen-starved altitude of 23,700 feet. A jet stream, a flood of wind, was howling only 3,000 feet above the camp and reaching life-threatening speeds of 350 mph. The team got little sleep. Instead, they spent the night holding their tents together in the vicious wind. House-sized chunks of ice were shifting, with one large piece collapsing uncomfortably near the camp.
The team included Himalayan veteran Peter Athans, who holds a record for six Everest summits; Peter Hillary, son of famed alpinist Sir Edmund Hillary, who along with Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay became the first person to reach the world’s highest peak; Brent Bishop, who is also following in his father’s footsteps; and Peter Ligate, a 38-year-old business manager and experienced climber. They waited out the weather at Camp 3.
After three days at Camp 3, the conditions worsening, the team decided to turn back. Ligate started down a steep route to Camp 2. Suddenly, he stumbled, missing a clip into the safety line. Ligate careened down the mountain’s blue ice and fell 600 feet to his death in a crevasse.
Even an experienced mountaineer can lose concentration, with disastrous consequences. In the blink of an eye, a fall can change everything, whether you’re climbing a mountain or climbing a ladder. But here’s how you can stay safe.
*Stay Clean. Clutter and poor housekeeping lead directly to tripping hazards and falls.
*Keep walking surfaces safe. Make sure walking surfaces are inspected, cleared, marked and maintained.
*Wear proper shoes. Inspect boots regularly, especially the soles, which can become slick.
*Use ladders safely. Make sure ladders are properly secured. Don’t overreach. Inspect ladders regularly.
*Store safely. Don’t store heavy or awkward items above peoples reach.
Don’t Let a Fall…Trip Up Your Future
*Copyright 2009 Harkins Safety