Comets and You
A brilliant comet appeared over England in the spring of 1682. Edmund Halley, a young and respected English astronomer suspected that this comet was not a new one and searched primitive records of stars and planets to prove it. In 1705 Halley predicted, by combining Newton’s newly formulated laws of motion and old records kept over centuries that the comet seen in 1531, 1607 and 1682 would return in 1758. Halley calculated that the comet had been appearing about every 75 years. The next appearance will be around 2061.
Slowly the scientific community accepted the Newton/Halley reasoning but neither man lived to see the prediction finally proved on Christmas Day, 1758.
When Halley’s Comet last approached the Earth in 1986, the United States and Russia each sent spacecraft to probe in and around it. When we saw the footage from these probes on television, we were fascinated.
The reaction to comets in ancient times was quite different. Then astrologers and royal advisors rushed to provide whatever predictions would please their masters. Common folk hid their children and valuables, in fear of destruction by the “demon” in the sky. By combining old records with new principles, Edmund Halley took the superstition out of comets.
Similarly, safety rules and procedures are your tools to demystify accidents. Safety rules and procedures work because they’re based on experience and research. Studies on how others have been injured in the past are designed to prevent a reoccurrence. An accident is not a random occurrence anymore than a comet is a demon in the sky.
Sound thinking about your safety will convince you that you should know and use all the tools important to your job. Including safety rules and safe procedures. With continual practice, they too will become part of your job.
Chances of disaster from a comet striking the earth are about fifteen million to one. You improve your chances of avoiding serious injury every day when you know and follow safe procedure. Remember
YOUR BEST TOOLS ARE SAFETY RULES
- Copyright 1999 Harkins Safety (B113)