Some say my mind is set—- in other words – I’m stubborn. So say they.
I prefer to think I have a mind set. In other words – I think a certain way about certain things.
Safety is one of those things that I have a mind set about and my mind is set on. I’ve been thinking about this today as I sit here, yet another day on the couch, unable to go to the shop and do what I would prefer to do. I’ve been thinking that maybe if I just do this little something or other I can still work in the shop and make dust. Then that little voice comes out and tells me no no no no NO – you’ll get hurt! And that voice is right.
I try to think safety when I go into my shop and one of the first things I have always told myself is not to work tired or when I’m not feeling well. And while I could probably do a little something with hand tools, I know that I’m not supposed to be doing any pushing or pulling or vibrating moves. That kind of limits even hand tools.
Accidents happen, by definition, an accident is an unintended occurrence or unintended outcome. No one goes into the shop with the intent of hurting ourselves.
The one thing that not everyone thinks about is to intend to go into the shop and come out the same way you went in. In other words, you have to think about those fingers in order to keep them attached to those hands. You don’t intend to get hurt, but you have to intend to not get hurt.
We’ve all been working and wondered where that red paint came from. You get nicked or scraped without even feeling it. It happens. The goal though is to be sure that any injury can be handled with a little antiseptic and a band aide. Your greatest worry should be how to get that red paint out of that nice piece of wood not how to pay the medical bills from a trip to the hospital.
So while I sit here feeling sorry for myself because I can’t work in the shop, I take heart in knowing a little safety now will mean that I will have two hands, ten fingers, two ears and two eyes still attached and working when I’m ready to get back at it.
Guys—- try to think about what it would be like for you to not be able to do something you love to do because today you did not keep safety in mind and something went terribly wrong. Let me tell you you won’t like it. Not every injury is the result of negligence, but a safety mind set leads to less accidents and less second guessing about what went wrong.
Let’s be safe out there (or in my case sitting here on my old, cat hair-covered, uncomfortable couch feeling sorry for myself and lecturing you!). :-)
-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine