Never underestimate the importance of protecting your health. Just taking a few extra minutes to keep yourselve safe can save you a lifetime of pain, agony and anguish.
Fall Protection: I know most of you don’t wear fall protection. It’s cumbersome, time consuming, and a pain in the neck. But it is also a lifesaving piece of equipment that can be priceless. Just answer this - how many times in your career have you come close to a tragic fall? If the answer is more than zero, you have already put your family, your business and your life at unnecessary risk. If you haven’t had a close call yet, you will. Learning to use fall protection is going to save your life. If you are going to service a customer year after year, install a permanent ring at the peak to tie off to. Wear your harness as part of your uniform. If it helps you remember why it’s important, put a picture of your loved ones on the dashboard of your vehicle, and remember it’s for them that you take the extra minutes.
Ladder Levelers: We’ve all done it.. stick a small rock under one leg of the ladder to level it up and hope it doesn’t kick out. Any professional working on ladders should have levelers on the legs. I knew a sweep whose ladder (a 40 footer no less) slipped off the piece of lumber he used to level it. The ladder went crashing to the ground, doing it’s damage to the shrubs and vehicle nearby. The sweep, to his good fortune, was safely on the roof…. Alone…. With his cell phone in the truck. He was "rescued" several hours later when the elderly lady came home and called 911. Man, did he look professional or what?
Respirators: When all is said and done, statistics will probably show that more sweeps died from lung related cancers than from falls. Yet most of us, if we have a respirator, find it does little good in the bucket somewhere in the truck. Remember that photo of your loved ones??? Wear it for them.
One More Life Saving Tip: This one came from Kirk LaPierre, who presented at the Wildlife Control Operators get together in East Hartford, CT last week. Kirk, from Saver Wildlife Services, and National Goose Management, delivered a great talk on safety. He shared a tidbit that could save your life someday.
When you arrive at a jobsite, write the address on a pad and leave it on the front seat of your vehicle. Very often, when a catastrophic injury happens, we have a short term memory loss or confusion. If you get injured, you, your helper, or even a bystander who calls 911 will have the address to direct help to you. You may remember you’re at Mrs. Jones house, but you will probably not recall the address readily. This takes precious life saving time while 911 traces your call.
Try to think ahead to that day. The funeral home crowded with friends and fellow sweeps, organ music playing low in the background among the whispers of the crowd. Imagine yourself lying in state, tucked neatly in your casket with your harness, respirator, and sweep gloves on, your family parading by, saying “if only he had worn these yesterday, he would still be with us today!”
Posted by Chuck Phillips, Business Coach, Northeast Region