while we are on the sbject of safety committees....

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by dannyboy, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    as most of you know, this past july 15, i had a small mishap that was caused by what is termed by many as an accident.

    shortly afterwords, i did what i was trained to do at ups, and picked apart the event. i separated it into segments which made the whole episode easier to understand. and while the job itself differs from the one done at ups, the parallel is there.

    first, the work site. there were no serious issues on the work area that contributed to the accident. it was clean, and dry. the door that the blade struck should have been opened while work was being done directly in front of it. that way, the tool would not have impacted the door.

    secondly, the normal tools we use for that type of work would not work properly in the softer substrate. instead of cutting it, it melted it. one of the other workers suggested a wood cutting blade, which i dismissed as too dangerous. so we worked a while more with the other tools, getting further behind schedule, and still got no results. so instead of taking the time to find or make the proper tool for the job, even though i knew that tool to be the wrong one for the job, i used it.

    third, in using the tool in certain areas, we found that the open toothed blade, when held at the correct angles produced the results we wanted. so we did several areas without problems very quickly, building a sense of false confidence. I might at here that one other issue was that because of the electrical service in the building, we had to use a portable generator and 150 feet of cord, which made the beast run at about 2000 rpm instead of the 4500 that it was supposed to run. at the time, it was something to gripe about, but it really ended up a blessing.

    fourth, i was not wearing all the safety equipment. while i did have eye and ear protection, the leather apron and gloves........well it was 125 in that area.......and i was soooooo close to being done

    now, you have the makings of the accident. to recap, using the wrong tool for the job, creating a false sense of security because nothing had gone wrong, pushing too close to the edge, and not having the door opened while i was working in front of the door. any of these missing from the accident site, and it would have never happened. but it did, and the job fell farther behind schedule, and i will carry the scars for many years.

    i knew better. i was the one that didnt listen to that little voice that said dont. i was all gung ho to get the job done and move on to the next stop

    While the leather gloves would not have protected much, they might have kept the wound from the large scale contamination that took place.

    as for the low rpms of the grinder, the blade was turning slow enough that when it hit my hand, it pretty much stopped spinning, at full rpm...........suffice it to say it could have been much much worse.

    there you have it. that is how you break down an accident. not to assign fault, but to understand how it happened, the warning signs that were there but ignored, and then to figure out ways to keep it from ever happening again.

    and that is the goal of the safety team, not to beat people down, but to help them to the next level of safety.

    it also shows that even though you think you are "mr safety", sometimes you do something so stupid, when you look back you wonder "what was i thinking?" the answer is usually you weren't thinking.

  2. toonertoo

    toonertoo Most Awesome Dog Staff Member

    Im so glad you are kinda Ok.........I think we all see ourselves, or people close to us, do things that will "probably" work out ok, but could be a huge danger. And usually it does work out Ok, but as you now know, just the roll of the dice, it was not.
    Our neighbor took over with a chain saw, been using one all his life, and tried to cut a knot out of a tree limb and lost half of his cheek, coulda been worse, coulda been better.
    Especially when you are in a hurry, just this one shortcut, and well it may work, it may not, It isnt worth it. Learn from Danny. Amen
  3. Mike Hawk

    Mike Hawk New Member

    When I was taking welding classes in running start a while back one of the guys was using a similar setup and nearly lost a hand when his blade caught and kicked. We call a wood saw blade on a 4.5 grinder a "meat axe", very helpful for setup and teardown in aluminum fabrication but many shops ban them because of how dangerous they are. Good luck with your recovery.
  4. tieguy

    tieguy Banned

    Good post Danny. I've had a lot of bumps and bruises over the years always blamed it on my own clumsiness.

    I also get some lively discussions going with the wife when she tells me about a near miss at an intersection and I start explaining how she should have cleared it first. :happy-very: Hey I'm just trying to help her out so I have someone to agitate in my old age. :happy-very:

    I know a lot of people get PO at us because we make every incident avoidable but we can prevent a lot of injuries and crashs by working and thinking safely at all times.
  5. upsdude

    upsdude Well-Known Member

    I drove up on an accident yesterday morning, residential neighborhood. Think of Mayberry or Wally and Beaver walking over to Eddie’s house. Anyway, Yeild sign for one street, nothing on the other. A handyman pickup truck T-bones a plumber’s van. My first thought was, didn’t you guys look LRL? Didn’t you guys clear your intersection?

    Then it hit me, I have terminal UPS, no known cure.
  6. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND


    i think the problem lies not in the fact you assign the avoidable tag to each injury and accident, its that 1, there is no appeal process for those that are just that, and accident, and 2 that many times manangement comes off as assessing the blame game instantly putting the driver/hourly in a defesive mode, instead of trying to make it a learning mechanism.

    ups is really good at pointing out faults in every aspect of the way we do our jobs. i only wished that the company as a whole would respond to concerns nationwide in the same manner they want the hourly to respond.