Sports cars competing over race courses marked with racing stripes. People who race on the job are marked with cuts, bruises, and bandages. There are places to race and places not to race. Speed belongs on the racecourse, not in the workplace.
Almost everyone has been guilty of speeding through a job. We forget, until it’s too late, that “hurry up can hurt”. In just about every instance, hurrying on the job does not do much to increase productivity. Usually, it is simply an easy way to get a tough job out of the way – or try to get off the job as soon as possible.
When we hurry on the job, we accomplish little more than increasing our chances of an unsafe act happening. Let’s look at some hurry up acts. Which ones have you caught yourself doing?
- Didn’t wear safety glasses because the job would only take a few minutes.
- Used the wrong ladder because the proper one was too far away.
- Didn’t use proper lockout procedures because you could fix it yourself and wouldn’t have to bother anyone else.
- Took a short cut between machinery or stockpiles of materials.
- Used a wrench instead of a hammer because your hammer was in your toolbox on the other side of the room.
- Climbed a ladder with tools stuck in your pocket, or in your hand, because you didn’t have a tool belt.
- Cut the grounding prong off a three-way ground wire plug because you didn’t have an adapter.
- Removed a guard to repair your machine, or for a special run, but haven’t got around to putting it back yet.
- Reached “just-a-little-bit-further” on the ladder so you didn’t have to get down and move it.
- Didn’t unplug a power tool before making adjustments because you would only have to plug it in again.
- Used a dull saw blade for just one more cut.
- Gave the forklift truck just a little more “pedal” so you could get one more load in before lunch.
- Didn’t completely brace the scaffold because one of the braces was missing.
- Laid a board down, full of nails, with the intention of bending the nails over “in a minute”.
- Climbed up the side of a bin instead of getting a ladder.
- Didn’t slow down this time at a blind corner because you never saw anyone there before.
The list is endless. Do they sound familiar? Too familiar? Sometimes when you hurry, nothing bad happens. Other times there may be “near misses”. But eventually, a serious injury will occur. It is only a matter of time. Is it really worth your eyesight, your limbs, or even your life to save those few minutes?
When hurrying on the job, you don’t end up speeding up the work, you just speed up your chances of an accident.
Hurry up can hurt.