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Step Up to a Safe Home

Step Up to a Safe Home

As a safety professional, do I practice what I preach at home? Yes. Well, I try—unsuccessfully sometimes.

I had to tighten a screw holding my punching bag to a beam in my garage. The safe way might have been to:
1. Lift the bag slightly and have my wife unhook it from the chain suspending it.
2. Use a ladder to climb up tighten the screw and climb back down.
3. Then lift the bag and have my wife re-attach the chain.

The safe way isn’t always the easiest, quickest or cheapest way.

My wife was in the living room, and being a man, sometimes I lack the ability to ask for help. So instead, the process went something like this:
1. Decide not to ask my wife for help.
2. Set up a ladder next to the bag.
3. Lift the bag so an edge of it rests slightly on a ladder step.
4. Wrap one leg around the bag to “secure” it.
5. Quickly tighten the screw before my leg cramps up, causing the 100-pound bag swings off the ladder and me to lose my balance and fall to my death.

Injuries and fatalities do happen in the home. They strike individuals and families just like you and me. More than 5 million people are injured every year from falls alone.

Would I have injured myself if I fell of that ladder? Yes. Was there a safer way to tighten that one little screw? Yes. Was I committed to doing the job safely? In this instance, sadly no.

A safe home requires a commitment from each and every one of us. From this point forward, I will be more committed to making my home a safer place.

Read more: Blogs, Safe Sweet Home

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Andrew Peterson

Andrew Peterson is a Certified Industrial Hygienist with over 10 years of experience working in the environmental and occupational health field. In addition to writing, he is currently the Environment, Health and Safety Manager for a medium-sized company that has been voted one of Fortune Magazine’s Best Places to Work For and one of CRO Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens. He lives in California with his wife and adopted pound puppy.

8 comments

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1:19AM PDT on May 8, 2013

Thanks

5:12AM PDT on Aug 17, 2012

Thanks for the reminder. We all need to remember to do things safely instead of 'quickly'.

6:18AM PDT on Sep 29, 2011

Thanks for the info.

6:19AM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

Thanks for the article.

12:41PM PDT on Mar 21, 2011

Thanks.

4:41PM PDT on Apr 17, 2010

I was made abundantly aware of just how unsafe our living quarters, as a rule, are, when my father and my mother became disabled. We had an occupational therapist come into the house, to inspect it for potential hazards and to make recommendations as to how we could alter existing structures and furnishings in order to make them safer. There was, as it turned out, a lot to modify. Homes (and I am assuming apartments, condos, etc.) are not built with safety in mind, particularly with respect to older people.

As consumers, I think it would be wise to insist that builders and developers bear these issues in mind when designing and building the new homes they put on the market. We often do not discover hazards until it is too late.

2:48AM PST on Feb 25, 2010

ThankX. A good reminder of a wonderful quote. "Short cuts make long delays", I "THINK" I read this back in the early 70's in The Hobbit, Tolkien. I wouldn't trust my memory, surviving the 60's. wink!

12:34PM PDT on May 12, 2008

We all take shortcuts. This is a good reminder that the quickest way isn't always the safest!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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