Do you take chances with safety?
Jerry Long cleans engine components in Anniston Army Depot’s Powertrain Flexible Maintenance Facility. Wearing proper personal protective equipment reduces the chances of injury while working. (Photo Credit: Jennifer Bacchus, ANAD Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL

ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- Have you watched children play?

Mine seem to scramble around, looking for trouble to get into.

Parents often become weary of multiple attempts to remind them bones break and property can be damaged.

The problem with some children, is they hear the warning messages and acknowledge them, but don’t take the message to heart.

In their minds, they are not undertaking risks.

To them, there is no chance of a fall or lost eye, only a newly discovered ability to ascend to new heights or win the war against a friend.

This lack of true understanding, and resulting lack of behavioral change, leaves us to guard over them and, at times, punish in an effort to prevent emergency room visits.

I have to ask myself how often I act the same way.

How often do I hear warnings, acknowledge them, even credit them as good messages, but fail to implement them and change my behavior?

Aren’t we all guilty of such behavior?

The risk is present and real, but, in our minds, it’s not going to happen to us.

Should we find comfort in the fact that we’re all guilty?

Not really; after all, accidents will happen when the opportunity is repeatedly presented through our risky behavior.

The following poem reminds us each to be careful how we judge others, but, most importantly to be cognizant of how our actions are judged.

I hate the chap who tries to beat the traffic light

But if he happens to be me--well that’s all right!

I loathe the car that in a jam, twists out and in;

But if I’m sitting at the wheel, I slyly grin.

At drivers who lean on their horns I rave and shout

But when some fool gets in my way I always honk him out.

I grow indignant at the chance another takes;

But I drive over 70 miles an hour and trust my brakes.

I wonder, is it possible they cannot ever see

That traffic laws were made for them and not at all for me?


We are all one bad decision from being the one acting like that naive child, seeing ourselves as invincible, or the reckless person others hope to avoid.

The rules may seem to not apply once or even twice but, eventually, injuries will occur when judgment comes to call.

Does one person’s behavior affect us all? Absolutely.

A serious injury here on-site not only causes us to grieve for the one hurt, but is likely to result in a stand down, a flurry of inspections and may even impact our pocket book if the delay pushes us to not meet our performance to promise.

It’s easy to be critical of others and comment on their poor decisions and lack of common sense. But, are you the one blatantly ignoring rules and being reckless.

Avoid the judgments, which come from testing the laws of physics and plain common sense, and become a safety critic of yourself.

Take the time to understand the message.

Constantly analyze your own behavior.

Are you implementing all those rules of safety you’ve heard over and over or are they going in one ear and out the other because it would require you to change your habits.

Evaluate each action taken, each decision made.

Don’t behave foolishly yourself or stand by and watch your co-worker behave foolishly, thinking it will only impact them, because it won’t.

Remember to evaluate. It will keep you from being the one everyone is talking about in a less than favorable manner and ensure you aren’t ultimately harmed when judgment comes to call.

Stay vigilant, stay aware and ensure no harm to people.