Like many of you I have spent hours and hours discussing safety with my peers, clients, and vendors. The tailgate meetings, the weekly safety calls, safety minutes before meetings, and those near loss investigations. It got to a point where I was sick of the word safety. And then I got a first hand experience of how a mundane task of gauging wells can go wrong.
Sometime back in June/July 2007, I was working at a site in Cupertino, with a fairly new engineer, lets call him Jared. We had to gauge some 50 odd groundwater wells that day. We got to the site early, coned off a few wells, and then like a ritual conducted a tailgate safety meeting. As always, we discussed PPE, the spiders in the well vaults, and the crazy drivers who might make it a game driving through our cones. I went to my truck to get the gauging forms while Jared set up on a well. We must have finished about 10 wells when we got to a well that had a large and heavy lid. I tagged the well as Jared held the lid back. Before I could realize what happened he dropped that 80 pound lid on his foot and was in agony. His shoe had ripped and he had severed his big toe. You guessed it, he wasn’t wearing steel toes. He had them in his car just didn’t want to take the time to change.
That was the first and last time I had to use the emergency hospital map from my safety binder.
I realized what I had gained from those hours and hours of discussing safety; a culture of safety was engrained in me. I would have never walked out of my truck without steel toes and a reflective vest. It was all that training pounded in me. A big shout out to my friend Mark Peterson who introduced me to LPS and safety..
Most accidents are avoidable and no one deserves to get hurt at their job. Whether you like it or not all those tailgate checklists, LPOs, and JHAs are going to keep you safe.
I have carried the same philosophy to QNOPY. Let us assist you with your EHS program. Contact us to learn more.
By: Saurabh Gogate
Date: August 30, 2016