Water Well Journal

September 2015

Water Well Journal

Issue link: https://read.dmtmag.com/i/557876

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Page 39 of 71

I have had opportunities the last sev- eral years to write columns in the Water Well Journal about doing things safer, such as choosing the right gloves. Or what needs to be accom- plished to be safer, such as writing health and safety plans. You keep hearing in "Safety Matters" about the need for you to be safe. I want to emphasize to you now about how you should be safe. I'm not talking here about any action, task, or plan. I'm talking about a state of mind. It's no different than when you were young and the last thing your mother said as you walked out the door was to be good or drive safely. It's a matter of "being safe." The beauty of this concept is once you are safe, it's easy to stay that way. It's not a thought, it's not an effort. It's just what you are. State of Mind How many times have you gone to a job site surrounded by perimeter fencing with signs saying "Hard Hat Must Be Worn" and "Safety Glasses Must Be Worn Beyond This Site" and no work was being done? In reality, there's noth- ing swinging over your head and noth- ing to splash into your eyes. Why would you need to wear your hard hat and safety glasses? It's simple—you need to "be safe." It's a habit. When you arrive at the work site like that, you don't think about it. You put your hard hat and safety glasses on. It's what you do. This is when it's a mind-set. It's a state of being that can begin at any stage of your career—even the old veterans used to working without safety equip- ment can become safe. Many of us with several decades of driving experience may remember cars without seatbelts. We drove with our children on our laps, sleeping on the front seat, and countless other activities that today would be unheard of. As soon as we get in a vehicle today, just about everyone automatically grabs their seatbelt. We're not doing this because it's a safety task, a regulatory requirement, or to satisfy a rule. It's who we are and what we do. We're being safe. A similar change might be coming with cellphones. In the recent past, peo- ple wouldn't think twice about holding their cellphone in one hand while driv- ing with the other. In the not too distant future, folks will no doubt find it absurd to even consider driving while using a cellphone. This is the idea we're trying to put forth in the world of safety. In some ways we've already reached it. It's not often you'll find contractors still using their pocket lighter to test for gas leaks or climbing down into a con- fined space to sniff the air to see if it's safe. We automatically use good safety procedures to do these tasks without preparation or thought. It's just what we do. Most construction workers automati- cally put their hard hat on when they get out to their truck in the morning. They're not protecting themselves from something falling on their head. It's just how work is done. We accept it, we embrace it, and it becomes part of who we are. Building the Habits How can each of us be safe? How can we all become exactly what I'm dis- cussing? I don't have a hard and fast an- swer. For each of us it will be different things initiating the thought process. Maybe it will be a good trainer, maybe a horrific accident, maybe this article. But something will click in your head and you will realize safety is not an action, a requirement, or a task. It's a habit and a characteristic of today's worker. This is not likely to come easily and will require significant effort. Many companies are already putting forth their "safety culture" and "behavior- based safety programs." This is similar to what we're discussing, except those programs speak to a population. What I'm talking about speaks solely to you, the individual. You will build habits and those habits will begin as simply compliance-based activities. But these are the activities you will do when no one is watching. These are the activities you will do when you are a lone worker. These are the activities you will do at work and at home because it's who you are. Safety glasses and hearing protection provide the same benefits for the same reason whether you're working a rig or cutting your grass. The consistency of acting this way both at home and at work is what will develop the mind-set you need to "be safe." BE SAFE The safest workers are those for whom safety is a state of mind. SAFETY MATTERS JACK GLASS DACUM Codes To help meet your professional needs, this article covers skills and competencies found in DACUM charts for drillers and pump installers. DO refers to the drilling chart and PI represents the pumps chart. The letter and number immediately following is the skill on the chart covered by the article. This article covers: DOD-4, DOD-8, DOK-2, DOK-9, DOL- 1, PIB-2, PIE-2, PIF-1, PIG-3 More information on DACUM and the charts are available at www.NGWA.org. waterwelljournal.com 38 September 2015 WWJ

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