Fevers and Fall Protection

Is common practice… common sense?

I know, I know. There’s no such thing as common sense. I can already hear the trolls taking a deep breath to strike me down with their intellectual superiority at the mere mention of something so banal. (Pretty sure most of them just had to look up that last word as well)

Well, guess what? I don’t believe in common sense either. Save your breath ye dwellers of bridge underbellies… I’m not here to debate either side of that argument. I’m here to ask higher questions. For example, why is it that commonly known unacceptable risks are still common practice?

That thought has weighed on my mind today as I sit at home with my daughter who was sent home from school with a fever. There are several active construction sites near the school, so I glance at the conditions every time I go. There hasn’t been a day when I haven’t noticed several workers standing on roofs with no protection.

Before I get too far with that, peruse the LinkedIn post from my friend Nathan. It’s the perfect setup for the question:

Who are the lucky ones?

The video in the post above appears to be from another country (as in not the US), but the workers seem to have some sense about safety considering their attire. Or maybe orange reflective clothing was the only thing left at the department store after the winter rush. Who knows? Origin doesn’t really matter though. As I mentioned earlier, I saw the same thing happening today in my town at four separate construction sites. So, it happens. Americans aren’t any more inherently “good” at safety than anyone else from what I can gather. Perhaps those of us who are tempted to think otherwise are just lucky to work for organizations that value and implement better practices….

Or is it the worker who climbs unprotected who is lucky?

However you look at it, the question remains. Why is it so common for people to take unacceptable risks? I’m not going to jump down the rabbit hole (for now) and try to answer that. But I will offer some possibilities and things do need to change.

Maybe we need more education.

Maybe we need better equipment.

Maybe the potential consequences don’t seem real (because they don’t happen to everyone and/or often).

Maybe companies focus more on profit than people.

The answer is undoubtedly multi-faceted. But that fact brings another question.

What are we doing to make it better?

Curious to know your answer to that one. Join the conversation on LinkedIn and use the hashtag #relentlesssafety. Let’s learn from each other.

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By Jason

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