Deep down in the slew of mud, clay, silt and water, a worker installs new pipe for drainage. He's 6 feet deep, working with 5 other workers and feels confident that his company has taken safety as priority number one. He looks around and does a quick safety spot check. Spoil pile 2 feet away from the edge? Plus proper shoring in place and a ladder within 25 feet of us? As our worker goes on with his day he is ever reminded of the dangers of working within the confines of an excavation. You see our worker Mike was in an accident 5 years ago that he will never forget. Mike was buried alive in an excavation. He is fortunate enough to continue to work and live life with his family and friend. So many other people were far too unfortunate.
So, safety glasses, hard hats, safety footwear. What does this all mean and what is PPE or personal protective equipment? In today's world of new gadgets, tools and machinery, which tend to make life easier, there is always the ever increasing risk of injury. For example, 20 years ago if you opened your garage you probably had a weed whacker, leaf blower, chain saw and hedge trimmer. All separate tools, each for a specific job. In 2017, there is now one tool available for all 4 applications! Amazing, awesome and yet still as potentially dangerous as the tools of 20 years ago. This applies to the same thought that when exposed to any hazard, we should never rely on PPE alone. I mean let's face it, just because a hard hat is worn doesn't mean the hazard miraculously disappears, does it?