From a Member's Perspective: Preventable Accidents

Preventable Accidents

Seasons roll by quicker than running water, and as you get older they are faster than a speeding bullet.

Summer is upon us again, children are out of school, families are vacationing and accidents are going to happen.

A few days ago, I read a statistical article on preventable accidents. It stated that there are 136,053 preventable death in a year, 28 million emergency room injuries. Wow…...! Preventable is the key word here.

How do we stop this madness? Teaching and training safety in the construction industry helps tremendously. Training has to be more than once a year; it’s got to be frequent or it fades from our brains. We are still teaching and warning children and adults not to run with scissors, but each year there are recorded injuries with somebody injured by the running scissor occurrence.

There are about 42,000 vehicle deaths each year. If every driver would practice roadway safety this death figure would decrease greatly; however, we live in a hurry up world, get out of the way, this road belongs to me attitude. The number 1 cause of fatal crashes is distracted drivers: cell phone texting, chitchatting, applying make-up, messing with the radio. I saw one motorist that was weaving on the interstate so much at 70mph, as I got beside them to observe, they had a laptop between their chest and steering wheel typing away. Nobody learns a lesson until it happens to them or a love one. Get off that cell phone, pull over safely to use your phone, put the make-up away with the laptop, and remember that your vehicle is not a restaurant so don’t eat and drive. Technology is great but it is killing us. I have been guilty of distracted driving and I am a safety manager. It has been a slow learning curve for me but I now wait or pull over to use cell phone. Look at your last cell phone message - was it really worth jeopardizing yourself and love ones?

Drownings, falls, electrocutions, choking, poisoning, and accidental shooting can all be stopped if we as responsible adults and safety personnel teach safety awareness to our co-workers, family members and friends.

Summertime brings on swimming in pools and lakes. Each year there is 10-12 water electrocution where electrical current is in the water from faulty electrical equipment. Get your docks and pools checked for worn out electrical parts that can cause electrocution. You can read quite a few cases of water electrocution that could have been prevented.

I was 5 years old as a kindergarten student and Valentine’s Day was upon me. Mom had five boys and she cut our hair. Her barber set included the professional pointed scissor that was beyond the old blunted children scissors. In a frantic to cut out a valentine, I got the scissors from the cabinet, and being excited I ran down the hall to my project with scissors in my hand. Yes, I fell in the hallway and the scissors went into my leg. I was lucky that the scissors didn’t jab me in the eye or pierce my heart; I came out of it with slight injury and soreness.

If you know something about safety spread the word. If you teach occupational safety hit on their personal life safety.

Ron James
Safety Director for Harpole Steel Buildings
Alabama AGC since 2002