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Small lapses in concentration

Discussion in 'Safety Competition' started by D11RCD, Nov 26, 2014.

  1. D11RCD

    D11RCD COPPA Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Messages:
    161
    Occupation:
    school
    Location:
    Australia
    Hey all,
    I've been nosing around this part of the forum for a while debating whether I should post or not but I have decided that I should for I feel like I can contribute.
    Although what I'm posting can be considered "little" things I think it's more than worthwhile to share them. I've certainly learned something from each one.

    So here goes:

    A while ago I was working in the school workshop on this little tool tray made out of fairly thick (about 1 mm or so it's hard to remember) aluminum. Anyway I was on the drill press drilling holes for the bolts to go through while it was still flat and I had it flat on the pedestal and I was holding it with my left hand. It wasn't pulling much at all as it drilled so I didn't think I really needed to clamp it. So on I went and as I got to hole 15 my mind began to wander. Big mistake because as I started to think about the weekend the drill really bit into the aluminum and grabbed- pulled it right out of my hand and started spinning it around. I hit the stop and grabbed the top of the chuck to slow it - I was worried that the aforementioned big bit of sheet aluminum was going to fly off and hit someone! Lucky it didn't and nobody was hurt- good lesson to learn. I make sure I never ever let my guard down on machinery anymore and I clamp just about everything that's possible while drilling with a press.

    A few months back I was pulling the batteries out of a truck- the weather was a little rainy but at that time it wasn't bucketing down just a few drops here or there. Everything was wet however. I was outside in the open air when while I was undoing to battery terminals and as I did I started to feel a bit of a twitch through my hand which I dismissed as myself imagining things (I'm terrified of electricity). So I kept going- and my hand started to feel a little warm. I still dismissed this as all in my mind. Soon enough though, as I continued to undo the the nut on the battery my hand twitched open and I dropped the spanner. I'm quite lucky it didn't fall and bridge the terminals and/ or that I didn't get electrocuted. I still don't understand how I was getting a shock as it was the negative terminal I was undoing but I attribute it to the fact that not only was everything wet, but I was also standing on an all metal truck at the time. Don't second guess yourself if something seems wrong- chances are it probably is. Even if it isn't checking is probably worthwhile ;)

    At one stage a mate of mine thought it would be intelligent to make a "ninja star" out of two splintery bits of wood nailed together at school (yeah bad idea- I told him that at the time). However, he started throwing it around later on in day, and I kinda had a bad feeling about it so I put my sunnies on over my eyes (which double as medium rated impact glasses as well - luckily). He threw it pretty bloody hard at me (as best mates do...) and I ducked- but it smacked straight into my face. It hit the right eye of my sunglasses so hard that it split the frame clean at the bottom and spat the lens straight out the bottom as well. It hit me with enough force that after doing all that damage to my beloved sunnies that after bouncing off said sunnies it took a thumbnail sized chunk of skin out of my chin. I dread to think what would have happened if I hadn't taken my sunnies off my forehead and put them over my eyes. I'm glad it hit me and not anyone else- I was the only one wearing any sort of glasses. Don't be that guy that gets carried away with your friends. The bloke who threw it has definitely learned from it- he's quite careful nowadays and he checked on me pretty much hourly the night after it happened. Even bought me a new pair of sunnies. We're still best of mates - but we both realise how lucky we were that day.

    So ladies and gentlemen I sincerely hope that by sharing this very small sample of some of the mistakes that I've been involved in or have made myself, that your lives are just that teeny bit safe. Remember it isn't simply a case of you going home to the people who're most important to you, but also of coming home to the people who watch the clock awaiting your return to them, too.

    Have fun, and be safe. Hug those who matter to you- chances are you matter just as much to them.
     
  2. kb9tci

    kb9tci Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2013
    Messages:
    334
    Location:
    Illinois
    Great notes and well-written! I agree with the thought of a bad feeling. Act on it before it happens. I've seen it too many times myself with the feeling that is ignored and comes out to be true.
     
  3. D11RCD

    D11RCD COPPA Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Messages:
    161
    Occupation:
    school
    Location:
    Australia
    Sorry for the super duper late reply kb9tci. It's been a hectic few months.
    Thankyou for the kind words.

    It's drilled into us from a young age "oh you're just imagining it" which is fine I guess in most situations where it causes no detriment. However, working with heavy equipment and the likes that niggling feeling is what keeps you intact as far as I can tell. My 2c.

    I'll add to this thread as I go along I think. I'm sure I'll make many more mistakes...
     
  4. Scrub Puller

    Scrub Puller Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Messages:
    3,480
    Location:
    Gladstone Queensland Australia
    Yair . . . D11RCD I must have your original post back in 2014 . . . that was well said.

    I don't think it would be human not to have small lapses of concentration. Like you I have had a few and so far have been lucky . . . we probably all have mates and acquaintances that made similar mistakes and did not have a second chance.

    It makes you think alright.

    Cheers.