A Message About PPE, Right Tool For Job, Safety Rules

Eagle Eye on Safety

There’s a very good reason people use the phrase “eagle eye” to describe someone who pays close attention to details.  It’s because eagles have phenomenal eyesight, they never miss a thing.

An eagle can spot a rabbit moving almost a full mile away.  If that’s not amazing enough, an eagle flying at an altitude of 1,000 feet over open country can spot prey over an area of almost three square miles! An eagle’s vision is so sharp that it can see fish in the water from several hundred feet above while soaring overhead.

What makes the eagle’s eyesight so acute? One reason is the fact that an eagle’s eyes have two centers of focus.  This unique dual-focus enables the eagle to see objects in front as well objects on the side at the same time. Like humans, eagles can see in color and their eyes are almost the same size as ours, but their eyesight is four times sharper than a human’s with perfect vision. The iris of an eagle’s eye is also unique; it changes over time from dark brown to a yellow very similar to the color of its beak.

Once an eagle spots his prey, he approaches in a shallow, relaxed glide.  Then in a flash, he dives, snatching the unsuspecting rabbit, rodent or fish in his powerful talons. An expert flier, the eagle can soar to altitudes of 10,000 feet and achieve speeds of 30 to 35 miles per hour.  Yet surprisingly, about 40 percent of baby eagles do not survive their first flight. Apparently, despite their natural instincts, becoming an expert hunter and flier takes practice and training.

It’s the same for you on the job.  Working safely takes practice and training, along with constant attention.

Remember, you don’t have the eagle’s sharp eyesight, but you still have to always keep a sharp eye for hazards. Attention is prevention.  Staying aware, hour after hour, day after day, is one of your best tools for preventing accidents. But that alone isn’t enough.

You have specific safety rules, defined for your work site, your job and your industry.  To stay safe, you have to learn the rules, know them and follow them. If you face a potentially unsafe situation, always ask your supervisor before you do anything.  It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Being safe also means making sure you have the right tool for the job, using the right personal protective equipment to prevent injuries and never, ever taking shortcuts.

Even though you don’t have the eagle’s ability to see in two directions at the same time, you have to act as if you have eyes in the back of your head when it comes to spotting and avoiding hazards-so YOU don’t become an endangered species.

You are Responsible, Do Your Best, Do it Safely

* Copyright 2005 Harkins Safety  B-145

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