A Message About Personal Protective Equipment And Preventable Accidents

Football Legends

In the late 1960s, Dick Butkus, Chicago Bears linebacker known for his bone-crunching hits and one of the famed Monsters of the Midway, was asked whether he felt regret about injuring other players.  His reply? “I would never set out to hurt anybody deliberately-unless it was, you know, something important, like a league game or something.”

Buffalo Bills defensive end Chidi Ahanatu notorious for his many quarterback sacks, opened a local restaurant and naturally called it Sacks. His teammates began razzing him. “Why did you call it Sacks?” they taunted.  It was the height of irony. Sheepishly, Chidi had to admit that he didn’t have a single sack in the season that the restaurant opened.

Bronco Nagurski, in a game against the New York Giants, was hit by opposing player Benny Friedman, who was attempting to tackle him.  Nagurski ran another eleven yards before Friedman could take him down. Friedman said, “He hits hard enough to knock down a horse.” On the very next play, Nagurski was bashing his way into the end zone with such determination that he ran straight into a mounted policeman, bowling over both horse and rider. Returning to his feet, Nagurski, slightly dazed, declared, “That last man, hit me awful hard!”

Football is a game of tough hits. That’s why professional players suit up before every game with shoulder pads, helmet and other protective equipment. They naturally want to protect themselves from injury.  Their livelihood depends on it.

Your livelihood depends on avoiding injury too. As a professional, you know that gloves, hard hats, respirators, hearing protection, safety shoes, goggles, face shields and protective clothing are your first line of defense against injury.

*Know what PPE is required for your job. Personal protective equipment is highly specialized. It’s designed to work for a particular job under specific circumstances.

*Always be sure to inspect all PPE for damage.  If it’s damaged, report it.  The equipment can’t protect you if it’s not intact.

*Make sure your protective gear fits properly. Fit is essential for respirators, ear protection and similar equipment that must seal out the hazards to protect.

They Always Use P.P.E., What About You?

* Copyright 2003 Harkins Safety B-165

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