"I've been there. I have seen the ruin and felt the regret. The looks, the shock, the confusion and all the questions, I've been there. The hours sifting through the ash and debris accompanied by hugs and tears while holding the only picture not touched, I've been there. The feeling of everything happening in slow motion and the voices muted by the sirens and urgency, I've been there. The moment we realized there was no warning and no means to protect what we worked so hard for, I've been there. The moment I wished I could turn back the time and be prepared, I've been there."
Imagine if you will a petit college intern, performing her dream job of collecting water samples from a Secure Chemical Maintenance Facility in a landfill. We were pulling water samples for Dense Non-Aqueous Phase Liquids, or DNAPL. As is typical for springtime in Western New York the ground was thick with snow, so the work area was covered with a blue tarp to make it easier to work. It was cold that day, grey and blustery with no end to misery inciting weather in sight. Having multiple people on site, there was some frozen precipitation left behind on the tarp which made it slicker than the parking lot. As I was returning to our work area, I slid on the wet tarp and the water sample spilled. In the awkward seconds that followed, I tried to not fall on the test tube, and of course I did which then compromised my suit. The next rush of time found the crew using several shop rags and garbage bags to clean up the area, while I tried to remain calm and cover the breached area with my gloved hand while being led to an area that I could get the suit off in. Luckily I was not working with anything acutely hazardous, but the same practices applied per the training I'd received prior to donning the Level A PPE for this task.
Admit it, we take a lot for granted, whether you think you do or not. Car safety, home safety, expecting you will see your family or friends every day. The truth of the matter is we can really get out of control. We don't think about what our actions can do. We don't think about how crazy doing something unsafe for a second can lead to a lifetime of regret. Admit it, subconsciously you just simply want to live life on the edge.
Alcohol and drug use among employees and their family members can be an expensive and hazardous problem for business and industry. Employers might struggle with issues ranging from lost productivity, absenteeism, injuries, fatalities and theft, to an increase in health care, legal liabilities and workers' compensation costs.