A Safety Message About Slips Trips & Falls, Tool Safety, Housekeeping (1)

“A Clean Shot”

You’ve heard about the fastest gun in the west.  Here’s the story of the slowest gun in the world, a gun that took 214 years to fire.

On the afternoon of May 11, 1745, a French soldier was loading his musket in the closing moments of the Battle of Fontenoy.  Before he had time to fire again, the battle ended.  The French had defeated the British, and the relieved soldier shouldered his musket and returned home.

With the musket packed away, years passed. Over two centuries later, the gun was discovered.  A gunsmith in Nimes, France, was commissioned by a collector to remove the rust and restore the weapon to its original condition.  He evaluated the gun and began gently sanding the firing mechanism and cleaning the top aperture for the flint.

But as he tried to free the corroded trigger, it suddenly moved all the way, releasing a flash of flame and smoke, narrowly missing the gunsmith’s wife in the next room. After 214 years, the slowest gun in the world had fired.  No one would expect an antique gun to be loaded with powder and shot, but this one was.

Many of the things we do on the job can be unexpectedly dangerous.  That’s why good housekeeping is so important to help reduce risk.

Put trash in its place.  Clutter in your work area gets in the way, causes frustration and distracts you from your job—and from safety.  Why put up with it? Dispose of trash and clutter, and stay safe.

Keep aisles and walkways clear.  Trash and clutter that obstruct walkways cause slip and fall accidents, which you can and should prevent.

Wipe up spills and shavings.  Grease and oil make surfaces dangerously slick.  Metal, wood and other shavings can cause accidents and injuries.  Clean these substances up as you work.

Store materials securely.  Keep paints, chemicals and other materials neat and organized.

Return tools to their proper place.  Not only is it safer to put tools back after you use them, you’ll work more efficiently too.

*Copyright 2010 Harkins Safety


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