When an accident happens, the blame is usually placed on someone or some thing. Many times the cause of the accident is never really known due to proverbial “buck-passing”—the equipment was at fault, the other guy was careless and many other similar excuses.
In all phases of Accident Prevention we try to promote safety with laws, regulations, rules, drills, training, appliances and protective equipment. All of these are of value, but in the final analysis, safety must be achieved in the minds of individuals. The “will” for safety must be created in each individual—you and me. We will never be safe unless we want, and try, to be safe.
Employees can do more to protect themselves and their fellow workers than can all the safety rules and regulations in the world. True, many factors enter into the causes of accidents: equipment failure, poor training, lack of guarding, etc. But the greatest hazard a rig crew member faces is himself. When he is handling, or is in the near vicinity of swinging pipe, slips being set or a tightening winch line, he needs to recognize any danger inherent in the use of such equipment. If an employee isn’t conscious of possible danger, doesn’t keep his weather eye open, who will do it for him? It is sometimes hard for us to realize that we must always expect the unexpected—the falling pipe, the snapping cable, especially when we have seen all go routinely well as expected.
The ultimate goal in accident prevention is zero disabling injuries; however, there are many barriers in the way of achieving this goal. The most important barrier is the human mind, especially where safety is concerned. Most people feel that it “can’t happen here” and that it’s the other fellow who should take the precautions.
When the same kind of accidents, involving similar agents of injuries, repeat themselves (and they do), somebody somewhere isn’t taking safety very seriously. The results can be counted in amputations, permanent crippling and, as you know, death!
Of course we recognize the fact that even an employee who stays on his toes may become an accident statistic once in a while. But, the cause usually can be traced down to someone who didn’t think.
Remember! We can do more to protect our fellow workers and ourselves by constantly thinking and practicing accident prevention, than can all of the rules, regulations, and safeguards ever written or invented.
THINK! Before you act.