As we wrap up 2017, it’s time to take inventory on what we have done so far and what we still can do to finish out the year safely. For many in the automation industry, this time of year calls for short term maintenance, vacation time to be used and skeleton staffs, with more daydreaming of the holidays than focusing on the here and now. Let’s remember, safety is a year-round project. Below are a few professional and personal reminders as we kick off the holiday season.
- Besides good tidings, the end of the year brings deadlines - the running down of the clock to get the project completed before the last bell tolls. It may be tempting to cut corners, create makeshift solutions, and skip over things just to get it done on time. Don’t do it. Treat all projects the same by making sure everything is completed in a safe and secure manner. Start your holiday feeling accomplished and knowing you did a great job to end the year off right.
- Distractions, distractions, distractions. The holiday season is filled with them and can easily carry over to the job site. Looking forward to vacation, time spent with family and friends, and last-minute Christmas shopping can interfere with your work. Especially if your department is short staffed, all efforts need to be made to stay focused on the task at hand to protect yourself and others that depend on you.
- Planning for the winter’s crazy weather can seem impossible. In parts of the south, including at our offices in Louisiana and Texas, we recently had several inches of snow. For those of us who are not accustomed to driving under these conditions, it was safer to stay home. Even if you do have experience driving in these conditions, others on the road do not. There were far more accidents than normal, and many of those could have been avoided with common sense and thoughts of driving safely.
- Daydreaming about that Christmas dinner isn’t the same as eating a well-balanced meal during your work shift. Omitting meals can lead to a hypoglycemic reaction that can cloud judgement and reaction time. Regarding holiday parties, be mindful of your alcohol intake before going back to work the next day, and always be aware of company policies. Your safety and others depends on the ability to function properly at all times.
- A great thing about the upcoming holidays may be time spent in your hunting stand. The peace and tranquility that nature provides is a great way to recharge those internal batteries for the new year. But don’t let your firearm safety become just as relaxed. Remember the adage, measure twice, cut once? The same applies when cleaning and storing your weapons. Check twice for ammunition before cleaning and don’t forget to store your firearms at home in a safe place instead of bringing them to the job site.
Now that we have covered the basics of professional and personal safety, enjoy your holidays and look forward to a wonderful new year but remember, the Safety Santa is watching you.