Good Morning Team,
You know… human beings are often very creative problem solvers. If it requires a solution, in most cases someone will have an idea or develop a plan to address it. However, not all ideas or action plans are firmly rooted in common sense. Let’s take working at heights as an example. We can come up with some pretty imaginative ways to reach an area that would otherwise seem unreachable. Take a look at the photos below as an example of what I am talking about.
Now there’s a fellow with his thinking cap maybe on a little too tight. It appears that he can certainly do whatever work he needs to do now, but do you really think there were any ‘what-if‘ scenarios thought out? I have to admit that I do sort of marvel at how this even got set up in the first place though! Now consider these three photos of workers using equipment in ways that they were not designed for.
Awesome ingenuity in utilization of unconventional equipment to get things done, but apparent amazingly simple-mindedness in understanding the risks associated with doing so. I think they speak for themselves here. Then there are those that went to all the trouble of getting the right piece of equipment needed to reach the height, but then end up using it in an unsafe way.
Actually climbing out of and partially standing on the safety rails! You may also note the lack of a safety harness? While that still wouldn’t allow him to stand on the rails as he is doing now, that harness is actually required when operating a piece of equipment such as this anyway. Finally, these next couple of photos show that there are those that use intellectual (?) ingenuity combined with the strength and agility the human body can possess to overcome those limitations we have in working at height.
You’d really have to have more than a little faith in your co-worker’s strength as he holds that ladder, and your wellbeing, in his hands. And I truly wonder how the fellow standing atop the two door tops managed to even get up there and just how is he to get down safely as well?
These are just a few examples of workers with very imaginative ways to complete a task. But when you take another look at the photos consider the possible ramifications if luck isn’t with them. Do you start to think that intelligence and creativity can actually make us less safe? Again, I submit that these workers do have enough brains to figure out how to get to where they needed to be, but they either didn’t think far enough ahead to understand where they might actually end up, or maybe they just decided the risk was worth it?
Don’t take risks or let your own intelligence, ingenuity and creativity actually fail you in working safely at heights or any other task. For every project there is always the safest way to complete it. Be smart and think about safety first.
Have great week and stay safe!
Raymond D. Moore
Director of Facilities Services