If It Doesn’t Seem Completely Safe, It Probably Isn’t

I like quips and quotes. I keep a few funny ones tucked away for special moments. I don’t golf a lot (or well), but when friends talk about it, I always feel the need to tell them that Mark Twain called the game “a fine walk, ruined.” Even though I rarely fly, and don’t drink, if the topic of an airplane trip arises, I’m quick to recall the words of my favorite author Lewis Grizzard, who said: “Given a choice, I will not fly. Given no choice, I will not fly sober.”

Recently, I stumbled across a list of safety-related quotes. With apologies to the various authors, I don’t see myself looking for opportunities to insert them into conversations with the same zeal that I use my Twain and Grizzard. A few of them, however, reminded me of the folly of one of my all-time overused quips, attributed to baseball player Lefty Gomez: “I’d rather be lucky than good.”

Hearing protection is a sound investment. ~Author Unknown

A few years ago, I took a routine hearing test as part of a job-related physical exam. I hear just fine, so it was nothing I’d thought about having done on purpose in years. The results were well within specifications, but the technician noted a slight dip among certain frequencies, and asked if I’d ever had long-term exposure to heavy machinery. Turns out, I did indeed spend a majority of my waking hours, for months at a time, in the engine room of a Trident submarine, during my six years as a sailor. Hearing protection was actually abundantly available, and honestly, I considered my use of it to be “frequent” if not “fastidious.” Again, my hearing’s fine, and I don’t lie awake at night worrying about going deaf, but, since that test, I do have a higher appreciation for my sense of hearing, and a greater sense of urgency to protect it. Ask around; you won’t find me in the Efficiency Lab without a set of foam ear plugs, correctly inserted.

To learn about eye protection, ask someone who has one. ~Author Unknown

I once suffered a scratched cornea. It wasn’t industrial accident; in fact, it happened at home, in my bedroom. It was early morning, and I’d hit the “snooze” button to capture just a few more blessed moments of pillow time. Just as I rolled back over, my wife adjusted one of those sacred pillows, and her fingernail found my eye socket. It’s especially curious that such a freak accident would happen to me, because I’ve always been very keen on eye protection.  I always keep my safety glasses handy, and I don’t sleep on that side of the bed anymore.

Of course, workplace safety encompasses way more than just sight & hearing protection, but this is a blog, not a book. So if your job, or current task that may just be a small part of your job, calls for it, wear the ear plugs, and/or the safety glasses, long sleeves, steel-toed boots, respirators, or whatever.  If your job/task(s) involves the use of compressed air, you can limit your noise exposure by using engineered products – for instance, EXAIR’s Super Air Knives (running at 80psig) generate only 69 dBA, versus drilled pipe blowoffs, flat air nozzles, or blower air knives, which can run over 100 dBA.  But even if you forego the earplugs around a Super Air Knife (OSHA says you can, but I still don’t), you’ll definitely need the safety glasses – when the air (and any particles entrained in it) is moving at up to 11,800 feet per minute, you just can’t blink that fast.

In closing, I leave you with the words of the venerable philosopher Red Green, who said, “We’re all in this together, and I’m pulling for you.”

Working safely may get old, but so do those who practice it. ~Author Unknown

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
Web: www.exair.com
Blog: http://blog.exair.com/
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_rb
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exair

2 thoughts on “If It Doesn’t Seem Completely Safe, It Probably Isn’t

  1. Who would have thought it was unsafe to sleep with your wife? I still say you shoved your eye onto my fingernail!

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