Safety Brain Never Turns Off

Photo from a casual walk with the ladies

Yes, that man is doing work on top of an ladder that is supported by two other ladders….

Guess what folks, this is a photo from NC, USA!

I can't believe we live in a country where this is still considered acceptable behavior. You know how I know this is acceptable? The man was doing it!! If this was not acceptable, his company would have provided him the tools to do this job in a way that was safe. A long time ago, someone would have come out on some job and seen this task, put together a JHA for it, and this guy, however many years later, would not have this as his only option. 

-“His only option?! Puma, he could have not done it! He could have gotten a more suitable ladder! We should ask him about his unsafe act and ask about what led to this behavior…” –

You know what, if those were legitimate, easy choices, wouldn't the average person who wants to do a good job, get home quickly, generally avoid the hospital and all medical bills, and earn a pay check HAVE DONE THEM?! 

Why do I think this is his company's fault more than his own? Because humans have no biological interest in hurting themselves. Self-preservation is the reason we have an amygdala – my least favorite necessity on most days. But companies are lazy. They'll do everything they can to limit liability and get the job done quickly and cheaply. 

I don't feel like diving into an entire HOP vs BBS debate right now… in fact, my original purpose for this posting was to take a second and vent about the fact that once you become an EHS/Safety person…. you can never take the glasses off. It's like learning that acid rain falls from the sky in certain places. When you're there and it's raining, no matter what you do, you can't help but think about the fact that the drops of water that fell on your shoulder are trying to eat you, or more accurately, burn through you.

Metaphors aside, I was simply going on a casual walk with my girlfriends when we walked by this. I had to stop and take a photo. I didn't see anyone on site to ask about this other than the gentleman himself. I'd rather not distract or bother him while he's in the sky, risking his life for that final coat of yellow paint, in fear that by yelling at him, I'd cause him to lose his balance. 

*sigh* such is the life of a safety professional.

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