Thursday, October 18, 2012

2 Weeks Left in October - Our Safest Year on Record!

Good morning to all I.D.I. employees:  Counting today, we have 2 weeks left in the month of October at which time, at the end of the month, we end another fiscal year at International Decorators.  If we can work the next 2 weeks in an injury-free manner, we will have completed our safest year on record over the past 13 years.  A lot can happen in a 2 week period so we cannot let our guard down.  We are reaching out to everyone to heighten everyone's awareness to do everything in your power to not get injured and/or to stop someone from getting injured.  If you see someone committing an unsafe act or if you see someone doing something the wrong way which has the potential to cause injury, we are asking you to reach out to the person and stop them.  We want you to stop them for their own safety, for their loved ones and for the company.  In these tough economic times, we just can't afford injuries.  In these tough economic times, employees can't afford injuries.  When an employee sustains a work related injury, no good ever comes from it.  The injured worker loses out on wage earnings.  Under the Illinois Workers Compensation Act, an injured worker receives 2/3rds of their normal wages while he/she is deemed off work by a doctor.  That means that an injured worker is receiving 1/3rd less pay which is a large chunk of money.  Not only are you losing some wage earnings, you are also typically in pain from the injury.  God forbid if your injury is of a serious nature and you are off work for an extended period of time as this can really affect the injured worker and their family.

For the sake or yourself, your loved ones and for International Decorators, lets work together as a team and not allow for any more injuries.  We need to be in the mind set that injuries are just not acceptable.  When an injury occurs, there is typically a very good or very bad reason as to why the injury occurred.  We can't just accept that an injury occurred because "I had the wrong equipment," or "my equipment was defective," or "I cut my hand on a steel stud because I wasn't wearing gloves," etc.  There is always a root cause as to why an injury occurred and we need to sometimes ask why 3 to 5 times to get to the root cause.

"I sustained an eye injury."  Why?  "Because the darn cheap concrete broke and a piece of concrete flew into my eye while I was using a Trakfast gun to fasten a pin."  Why weren't you wearing safety glasses?  "Because we didn't have a box of safety glasses in our gangbox." Why again?  "Because I didn't want to waste International Decorator's money by taking the time to stop working and locate a pair of safety glasses."  Why?  "Because I figured I only had to fasten a few pins and it would only take me 5 minutes and it would have taken me 5 to 10 minutes to locate a pair of safety glasses."  Why again?  "Because I was not planning ahead that I would be using a Trakfast gun and making sure I had the necessary personal protective equipment ahead of time."  Why again?  "I just figured that it was only one time and I was shooting a few pins and I just didn't think that safety glasses were that important."

The bottom line was that the root cause of this injury was not the cheap concrete.  The root cause of the injury was simply that the injured worker didn't follow a company policy requiring safety glasses when using a Trakfast fastener tool.

The bottom line also is that we cannot take short cuts on safety as this is typically when things go bad!  Plan ahead when it comes to protecting yourself and don't commit an unsafe act just because you don't have a pair of safety glasses with you exactly when you need them. If you have Trakfast fastener tools at your job site, this means that eye protection will be needed. Maybe safety glasses had been stocked at the job site and we ran out?  Someone then needs to request more.  Maybe we never did stock the job site with safety glasses?  Again, someone at the job site needs to request some?  We cannot make excuses for injuries occurring.  We need to find out the root cause and then prevent this same type of injury from reoccurring.

By the way, the above accident is hypothetical and did not occur at I.D.I.  We all know better to plan ahead and wear safety glasses while using a fastener tool!

Have a Safe Day!