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"Don't Drop the Ball"

Discussion in 'Safety Issues' started by Nige, Oct 4, 2017.

  1. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    I'm sure many people will have come across this at toolbox/tailgate meetings before a shift starts. You have the guys who always speak up about safety (or anything else for that matter) - some have suggestions worth hearing, others appear to simply like the sound of their own voices........ however the vast majority of the crew stand there apparently like dummies and listen, chant the mantra at the end of the meeting and go off to work. How to involve them..?

    Well one of our guys came up with the "Don't drop the Ball" idea. We have an old basketball that after the toolbox meeting introduction the supervisor/foreman launches it across the circle. Whoever catches the ball a) mustn't drop it and b) has to come up with a safety share on the spot. The way we put it to the guys is that nobody's expecting the ball to come their way but if it does come, just like being hit with a curve ball from left field while working, you have to be ready with a safety share just like you would have to be if something unexpected comes up while you were out working on the job.

    We found that it brings out the quiet ones in the team who more often than not have something to say worth hearing, and it doesn't permit anyone to stand at the back hoping they won't be noticed. Their own workmates see to that.

    A good idea that I thought was worth sharing.
     
  2. kshansen

    kshansen Senior Member

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    Very good idea Nige!

    Just knowing you may be "put on the spot" at a moments notice should get people to be thinking about safety!

    If I can find the email address for the head of safety for the company I retired from I will pass this idea on to him.
     
  3. old-iron-habit

    old-iron-habit Senior Member

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    Great idea. I used to randomly take a craftsman or three, subs included with me on my daily safety walks. It never failed to amaze me what these guys would see above and beyond my own observations. They see it every day and usually speak freely when in a very small group and don't have to speak in front of a crowd of 150 or more like when we had our jobsite wide weekly meetings..
     
  4. 92U 3406

    92U 3406 Senior Member

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    I'm one of those who tends not to speak up too much anymore when it comes to safety. The company I work for preaches safety like its gospel. Yet whenever something gets brought up, it falls on deaf ears or it puts a target on your back. A guy can only try so hard before he just says f*** it.
     
  5. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    I forgot to put in the OP that after the first guy fields the ball and gives his safety share he gets the opporunity to launch it across the circle at one of his co-workers. We'll regularly do it 3 or 4 times before the supervisor calls for the ball back. So anyone who might be "backward at coming forward" gets picked on by his own team mates.

    I think maybe you are confusing safety concerns & safety shares.

    A safety share is something that someone thinks should be highlighted to keep folks working safely. Like reminding everyone to put the lock pin or other safety device in an articulated machine to prevent sudden any unexpected movement if you're working in the hitch area, or if there has been a lot of recent rain to remind everyone to be careful getting on & off machines because access ladders are full of mud & slippery. Maybe reminding people about stored energy and keeping out of the line of fire when disassembling a machine component. Simply things that people need reminding of from time to time.

    A safety concern is when something isn't right, a lockout that doesn't work, or a machine with defective lights. We had one the other day when the fuel truck operator asked about the possibility of a louder horn for his Cat 740 because when you're round the back of the truck most of the noise of the horn is blocked by the service truck body and if there is a lot of equipment working around the area you don't necessarily hear it.

    If your company is like you say it is regarding safety I sympathize. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. Fortunately the outfit I work for not only talks the talk but walks the walk as well. Some of the rules might seem OTT to someone from outside the mining industry but at the end of the day they are designed to ensure that everyone goes home safe every day. Nobody who has supervisory responsibility wants to have to be the one to tell a widow her husband isn't coming home any more.
     
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  6. check

    check Senior Member

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    One of the reasons I chose mechanic work as an occupation is I have zero tolerance for public speaking. I don't have the gift of gab and would rather cut off my hand. If I as forced to do that I would have found another job. If you forced a salesman to rebuild an injector pump I think the results would be no better.
     
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  7. kshansen

    kshansen Senior Member

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    I also do not like speaking to a group, but I believe what is being talked about here is not a long drawn out speech with charts and diagrams. Just mentioning something you saw that could be a problem for someone else like: "Yesterday while I was washing the pit loader I noticed that the wash hose was getting a bit worn or cracked next to the shut off valve, would not want to see it fail while someone was walking up to turn hose off." Just little things one might notice everyday but forget to mention due to getting involved in some other aspect of their job.
     
  8. 92U 3406

    92U 3406 Senior Member

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    You're right. I did get them mixed up. I still think the don't drop the ball is a good idea though.

    Same here. I used to have extreme social anxiety. I've forced myself to interact with others and I have a handle on it now. Still not interested in public speaking though.
     
    check likes this.
  9. DARO

    DARO Well-Known Member

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    I like that idea. Thanks for sharing
     
  10. Bls repair

    Bls repair Senior Member

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    I find safety meeting are a bunch of insurance B S .If anything happens they can say you should know better. Must sign attendance sheet for proof you were there . Go to work and they tell you to do what they told you not to do in the safety meetings.
     
  11. old-iron-habit

    old-iron-habit Senior Member

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    If something is talked about as a safety issue and you do it anyway why is it a bunch of insurance BS. Are you saying they expect you to do what they just said not to, or does the crew just do it anyway. If my crews did it anyway we would have a "talk". I often told people when they continued to do something the unsafe way, "Isn't it sad that I care more about your life and family than you do."
     
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  12. check

    check Senior Member

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    It's not about safety at all, it's about CYA. When I was working offshore, I was about the only one who would climb a crane boom to work out on the tip, which was not accessible because the boom was always longer than the platform. The other mechanics were heavier than me and not up to the task. First they demanded we wear hard hats, steel toe boots, safety glasses and a safety belt. I skipped 3 out of four to get the job done because I had to be unencumbered to climb. I got by with it a couple years. I explained that the safety belt can only be used when reaching point B, not while traveling from point A to point B. The traveling was the most dangerous part and being encumbered made it more dangerous.
    Then they came out with the full body harness with leg and shoulder parts. No way in hell could we maintain our balance with those stupid things while the wind was blowing and the waves were rocking the platform. You can't reason with people who live in a world of policies.
    Then they demanded we wear safety glasses all the time and dust masks while grinding. I explained to them that the minute you put on both, the glasses will fog, thereby making the task more dangerous. I asked for face shields but they never arrived.
    Then we had a big safety meeting, hundreds of us and most of the bosses. The safety man said "If you have any questions or concerns just call me". I asked him in front of everyone "What's your phone number?". You never seen so much stammering and lying about "Um well I just got a new office and I don't know my number yet" None of the other bosses offered it either. Not ever.

    They just want to cover their rasses.
     
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  13. Welder Dave

    Welder Dave Senior Member

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    Worked at a place where the boss was (apparently) all about safety and every little thing should be brought up. He knew that I (the welding supervisor) would bring up concerns if I thought they were warranted. Well the boss did something incredibly stupid and literally almost killed himself but wanted to keep it hush hush. I should mention he is also a politician (mayor of a smaller city) and tells you what you want to hear.

    Anyway the incident should have shut the whole place down and an investigation been done. It would have cost them thousands. There was a big opening in the roof for a huge crane to lift components of a new roller coaster in. It would take about a week and a half to move all the components in. A few days later the weather turned and they were calling for rain. It was a windy day and the boss was up on the roof with several employee's trying to tarp the roof. The boss is a former ironworker and don't know what he was thinking but attempted to walk across a roof beam dragging the tarp across. The roof is about 38' high. Well the wind caught the tarp and he fell about 10' onto the scaffolding inside a couple feet away from the edge and almost got punctured by one the scaffolding pins on the corner. Pretty major incident to say the least. I wasn't there at the time but had heard about it and that's why the boss came and asked me not to bring it up at the toolbox meeting the next day. Of course his version was a little different. It was only a 7' foot drop (not high enough to require railing) and not a big deal, he wasn't injured. I found out quite a bit later from a longer term employee, that the boss confided in, the boss had indeed broke a bone in his arm and that's why he was holding it. He never went to the Dr. After the toolbox meeting I questioned the boss why it wasn't brought up when if it had been anyone else there would have been an incident report etc., etc. The boss pretty much admitted that he scared the shite out of himself! I think he knew it would have likely shut the amusement park down for a quite awhile.

    This incident was almost as stupid as an assistant superintendent at a golf course climbing on an 88" tree spade to hold branches out of the way while the tree was being planted. Got his steel toed boot crushed and had to have 3 toes amputated. I think the operator of the tree spade is partly to blame too but he can't see everywhere.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2017
  14. Bls repair

    Bls repair Senior Member

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    This is the bosses telling you to do something they said not to do in safety meeting. Had one boss tell me not to slope trench because would have to take sidewalk out . I told him to call safety man to look hole .If he though it was ok give me a letter stating that he the safety man and company would be totally responsible for any injuries or death. The boss walked away and we took out the sidewalk.
     
  15. old-iron-habit

    old-iron-habit Senior Member

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    I guess I was pretty fortunate that the two companies I worked for for the last 30 years of my career really did care about safety. The owners home phone numbers were also in the company phone book and they did answer. Admittedly they were very family oriented, most unusual for a 2,000 employee company. Not much employee turnover either. Ordering safety equipment was never questioned. If we had a crane that could not be serviced with out 100% tie off it would have been modified to allow it even if it had to be torn down to do so. It might be faster and more unencumbered to more without having to jockey two tie off ropes but you sure are not going to get a second chance when you slip.
     
  16. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    I tend to agree check .

    What few safety BS meetings I've been in they all want you to sign your name at the end ...................

    Oh well ...... Whatever .o_O


    Pretty crazy times today when a company hires an adult worker after the job interview and then has to treat them like children .


    I tell ya what .... When your time comes there aint nothin anyone can do about it ........

    It will come out of no where ....... Won't go down like you might think :) , will not see or hear it coming .

    Just try to get as much work done as you can before it happens ;)
     
  17. 92U 3406

    92U 3406 Senior Member

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    I talked to a relative over the weekend who is a supervisor/manager. We got talking about safety and such and he really opened my eyes up to how management sees is it. He also pointed out many shortfalls of my employer's safety program. Needless to say I think I will be speaking up a bit more about safety issues from now on.
     
  18. old-iron-habit

    old-iron-habit Senior Member

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    A company that does not have a better than splendid safety record can not even bid on many larger projects. We had a .45 score where 1.0 is the acceptable(smaller is better) industry standard, earned the states safest contractor award twice in 5 years, and we still did not meet the safety criteria for all jobs. A non lost time injury, that is a OSHA recordable, takes the profit out of $100,000.00 of work by the time you are done. Beside the human element these two reasons are why all successful companies are so anal about safety. There success does depend on it. I go to bed every night very grateful that I was fortunate enough that no one ever died on any of my projects. I still wear my company sweatshirt that shows 2,000,000, yes, 2 million, construction man hours company wide without a lost time injury. Unfortunately they have never made close to a million hours since. The 2,000,000 safe man hours was achieved when work was slower and we only had 1,500 of the best, long time employed, seasoned hands working. The over whelming amount of all construction injuries happen with employees with under 6 months experience. Incidentally, eyes and hand injuries are the most common.
     
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  19. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    That's an impressive record of safe man hours Old - iron !

    Something to be proud of for sure .:cool:

    I'm just a small time owner operator doing various jobs for customers .

    Get my share of cuts , scrapes and never could get around some sort of debris in the eye even with the safety glasses .:(

    The job sites are pretty easy to deal with ...........
    If we get to a stage where it starts to look a little funky just stop & regroup .

    Might have to run back to the shop & get the proper tool or grab another piece of equipment to get the job done .

    Hands down our most dangerous place to work is on the road moving equipment from job to job .

    Don't have the control I would on a jobsite .
    it's about like loading cattle , most will go up chute but there is always one that will bail over the fence on ya :D

    Only way to deal with it is good driver & blocker car to keep the aggressive drivers away from the truck . Plus the " Blocker Driver " can also be a witness in court in the event of an accident .

    I need to keep some basketballs in the cab of the truck to toss at certain drivers .:D
     
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  20. Dozerboy

    Dozerboy Senior Member

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    Safety is what you make of it. If you think it’s BS and just CYA that’s your problem. If you truly care about the well being of your crew then that will show through. If your boss doesn’t care that’s his problem you can still do the right thing and watch your buddies back.
    This is coming from a guy that did think it was BS. Now I’ve seen to many guys get hurt over the years to thinks it’s BS. It would kill me to have to make a call to one of my guys family that he won’t be coming home.
     
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