Every day, events in the world give us the opportunity to teach a safety concept or principle. When you pay attention to the news and social media you will be able to capture subjects your employees are actually thinking about; therefore, your message is more likely to be remembered. There is a great example of that occurring in the news and social media right now.
ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
If you haven't heard of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge you may be living under a rock. It has brought in a great deal of donations to the ALS Association (Click Here). The concept, as I understand it, is to stand and have a bucket of ice water poured over your head after you challenge a few friends or associates to do the same in 24 hours or donate $100 to the ALS Association. So far, I've skipped the challenge and just made the donation.
Challenge Or Not Donate
First off, as a huge supporter of worthy causes, be sure to send in the $100, challenge or not. Secondly, be aware of the hazards of water, ice and the potential for serious injury.
I just finished watching, "Ice Bucket Challenge Fails" on YouTube and it is a clear example of what we deal with in safety every day. People do not always think about the potential risk of a seemingly harmless activity.
Some of the "fails" included an entire trash can of ice and water falling bottom down on the head of the person. One friend throwing the bucket lost control of it and hit the recipient in the head with the full bucket. Many slips and falls in bath tubs and showers resulted because the person lost their footing while holding a heavy bucket. Several ice chests fell right on the person instead of the contents spilling out. If you want to see some of the disasters go to www.youtube.com and search "Ice Bucket Challenge Fails" - some of what comes up may not be appropriate for the workplace so beware.
Teach People How To Have Fun Safely
One key point - I have read some posts on social media advocating people not participate in the challenge for safety or other reasons. I think we would be better off to teach people to recognize the hazards and help them participate in this fun activity without getting hurt.
I would point out to people they need a safe non-slippery surface that will still be safe after it is wet. Second, remind them of the weight of water. I still remember the phrase my dad taught me, "A pint's a pound the world around." That means a one gallon bucket weighs 8 pounds. Some of the challenges I saw were done with 5 gallon (40 pounds) 20 gallon, (160 pounds) and larger. When one of those slips out of the hands of the person pouring the person below is going to be injured.
This is a good time to teach people to think about the "what if's" in life. What if: the bucket slips, what if I slip, what if the person holding the bucket slips or loses control of the bucket and the list could go on and on.
I like Charlie Sheen's solution. He took a bucket filled with $10,000 in hundred dollar bills and challenged fellow actors to donate the same.
Lou Gehrig Baseball Farewell
As I was researching this article I saw pictures of Lou Gehrig which reminded me of my grandfather who was a friend of Gehrig and other players of his day. I found an article about Lou Gehrig's farewell and my grandfather was the writer. As a side note, my grandfather (who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974 as a sports writer) wrote the article, Hail and Farewell on July 4, 1939 telling the story of Lou Gehrig's appearance at Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day. If you would like to read the article (Click Here)
For baseball fans, if you would like to read about my grandfather, a chapter from the book "No Cheering From the Press Box" has an interesting interview with him. (Click Here)
Until next week,
I'll be, "Watching Out For Everyone's Safety™"