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.
Breathing in minute crystalline silica particles can cause multiple diseases, including silicosis, an incurable lung disease that leads to disability and death. Employees who work in occupations with silica exposure are also susceptible to lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and kidney disease. These diseases are life-altering and debilitating disorders that annually affect thousands of workers across the United States.
As we go through our days, we all miss several common mistakes simply because we are not paying attention, or we are too busy with other things. Below are five common mistakes that companies make for one reason or another but that would pay big dividends if followed.