I write this blog thinking of the men and women who are still in the workforce going to sea, yet my comments can be applied to daily living, travelling and even working around the home or on your car.
If you ever had a free fall down a ladder, using a trailing hand technique, might prevent you from suffering serious injuries. Why? Because if you begin to fall your hand will naturally tend to grip the ladder in response.
While working on exhaust gas projects with a major cruise line I had the chance to witness incredibly smart people involved in many many aspects of the project, discuss risk management effects on a wide scope of concerns of the vessels operations. From passenger impact, hot work, material loading down to the smallest details such as shielding passengers from arc flash. Everything is considered. Likewise every respectable company has their own safety program, highly detailed requiring PPE usage and daily reminders of the need to follow safety protocols through morning meetings and tool box talks etc.
Yet somehow, more often than not, someone still gets injured on a worksite. How is that, when safety is drilled so hard into those employed? And although often, it might be that the injured's inexperience contributed to his injury, there are many others who can not use the same excuse.
It took me a long time to realize that accidents can simply happen on their own for what ever unpredictable reason. For that reason, when ever I discussed a safety issue with someone I always included, "look, you don't have to tempt fate and increase the odds of something bad happening, it can and will, all on its own" .
Nearly everyone in the maritime community has already heard of , witnessed or been a participant in a casualty of some sort (be it an injury or other calamity to equipment or the vessel). With this said, I give you my favorite adage.
An adage is simply a saying that is often quoted. Everyday we all use many when we are speaking to others or even speaking and thinking to ourselves. For me the best adage I would ever learn is this.
Always error on the side of safety
Whatever you are doing, if you base your decision to do something while considering this adage, your risk of injury to yourself and others as well as potential casualties will be diminished.
So to you young men and women who think nothing can happen to you and to the older mariners who think their experience will prevent an accident from occurring, remember, fate and even karma can turn a good situation bad in an instant. Don't tempt it.
Be well, be safe. Stop by the shop and visit.