October 2013

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

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Page 27 of 48

Facility&Operations | By David Schwandt REALITY TURF: one veteran's take on safety I remember sitting in Dr. Ching-Way sun's WooD teCh lab in front of a pile of wood blocks. The task was to learn how to identify them, along with 100 more yet to come. I probably looked like a monkey working on a trig problem. Then Professor Steinhielb walked in; no sweater vest and polished shoes and khaki's for "the Hammer." It was flannel, jeans and logging boots. He picked up my utility knife and with the second effort he had a piece whittled off. He took a sniff, then bit the block of wood. Handed me the block and said it "smelled like oat straw, tasted like the oats when the horse got done and don't cut [. . .] either. Must be chestnut." To this day I can pick out chestnut furniture across a room. His language was simple and direct and extremely effective communication. Good communication is important for workplace safety, especially when giving di- 28 SportsTurf | October 2013 rections for safe operation of a piece of equipment, a phone call to emergency services, or simple day to day things. The key to communication is giving information to your target audience in a manner they will understand and (hopefully) retain. A good start would be to rehearse making an emergency call so that emergency services will learn the who, what, where, when, and other pieces of important data from your facility. Make a practice call to IF THERE IS WATER NEARBY, be aware. This is a poisonous cottonmouth! your services and ask them what they will need from you in an emergency. Safety is a pretty nebulous term that means different things to different people. Here are some of the oddball situations I've encountered; these things either did happen or easily could have; I had never thought of any of them though until they happened. HOW FAST DOES A PADLOCK FLY? We all pretty much know how far and fast a baseball will travel. But what about a padlock from an equipment bag lying on The American Red Cross and the American Heart Association These two organizations are great resources for information on emergency situations. The Red Cross offers classes in first aid and water safety. The Heart Association is good for the CPR and AED. Does your facility have one? Do your fellow employees know how to use it on you? If you have never taken a first aid course or CPR course you should. There is no end to the uses that arise in every day living that come up both at work and home. The water safety courses will give you ideas on how to prevent accidents. You will take away a new sense of awareness. Safety should be grown and nurtured into your everyday life. It should become part of your work culture.

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