Managing Safety Performance NewsFlash

Safety Rules and the Wise

Remember when you were a kid and some grown-up would see you with your shoelaces untied? They’d tell you, “Tie your shoes, or you’ll trip and break your neck.”  Talk about annoying: like that could ever happen. On the other hand, those adults were older than you, so they’d seen a lot more than you. It’s possible they knew something you didn’t.

When it comes to some of the safety rules, it’s easy to think “That could never happen.” Like the rule about properly disposing of oily rags. Thinking something can never happen makes it tempting to ignore the rule.  But the truth is that virtually every safety rule came about because something did, and it wasn’t good.

Including the rule about oily rags. Here’s an example to prove the point, courtesy of a good friend in the construction business, Erik Fernandez. He made the mistake of forgetting to dispose of a few rags he used to apply stain: left them in his truck on a sunny day.

When he got the call from the Fire Department, here’s what he found in the parking lot.


Paul Balmert
February 2018

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