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My Two-Wheeler
My Two-Wheeler

“Keep It Safe”

What did Whitey Ford, Johnny Unitas and Henry Ford all have in common?  All three understood the importance of dirt!  Have you ever seen a baseball pitcher stop the game long enough to rearrange the dirt around the pitching mound?

Or a quarterback asking the referee to wipe the rain or mud off the football?  These professional athletes know very well how disastrous a little dirt in the wrong place can be.  A pitcher who stubs his toe in the hole created by his spikes can stumble and fall trying to field a bunt—and in an instant he could have the tying run on base.  On a rainy day, officials frequently change to a dry ball to help avoid fumbles or bad passes.  In fact, a towel is essential equipment for quarterbacks to keep the ball and their hands clean and dry before every play.

While dirt can affect an athlete’s performance, Henry Ford believed it could undermine any business.  Once asked what he would do if he had to take over a business that had failed, Ford said, “No business I know of ever went to the wall without accumulating a vast pile of dirt. The dirt and all that goes with it, untidy methods-thoughtless actions—and negligence…all helped to cause the failure.  The first thing I would do…is to clean up that business.” Ford felt that an untidy workplace was an indication of how the entire business was run.

Ford was not only the brains behind the assembly line but he also knew the value of a clean workplace and insisted on good housekeeping in his plants. We need to use his wisdom to make our jobs, not only clean and productive—but safe.  Clean aisles and walkways—uncluttered stairs—and tidy storage areas will keep you from being sidelined by poor housekeeping.

When a pitcher takes the time to smooth out the area where he works –he knows he may be preventing a slip, a twisted ankle, or a fall. We can prevent bad falls and serious injuries by cleaning up oil and grease spills, reporting torn or worn carpeting, and by picking up scrap and clutter.

Just as the quarterback takes pride in his passing percentages, we can be proud of our workplace and at the same time protect our coworkers from the pain and suffering that comes from injuries.

It pays to be neat on the job.  As the pros have learned-the way we keep our place of business reflects our attitudes toward our work and influences our safety performance.  You will find that one of the first rules of safety survival is to keep your own work area clean.




*Copyright 2004 Harkins Safety