Before you fire off a nasty letter or note to me concerning our cover this month, stop and ask yourself a couple questions. Did it get your attention? Did you show it to a colleague and have a discussion about its meaning? Did it make you mad? Do you think we crossed the line and poked fun at a serious issue? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it served its purpose. It made you stop for a moment and think about safety, which is something all of us needs to do every day.
Hopefully most of you have a sense of humor and got a good laugh from it — but don't forget we can still learn an important lesson from a humorous situation. I can only hope you didn't say to yourself, “Hey, I've done that before!” or “Hey, that looks just like my friend Joe!”
In all seriousness, workplace injuries are no laughing matter. Electrocutions are the fourth leading cause of workplace deaths, according to statistics compiled by the Department of Labor. Accident reports continue to confirm that too many of you responsible for the installation or maintenance of electrical equipment often do not turn off the power before working on equipment. Other times, you turn off the power, but fail to recognize the opportunity for accidental re-energization of equipment. If you don't believe me, just look at our monthly Forensic Casebook articles. A lot of these stories testify to these facts. Add to electrocution the falls, slips, and falling objects, and you've got a load of lost-time injuries on your hands.
As most of you probably know, May is National Electrical Safety Month. It's the one month of the year we should all use to rejuvenate our safety programs. Some of you use it to kick off a new safety program. Others rally around it to give out awards for meeting goals or breaking records associated with “days without a lost-time injury.” That's great, but don't stop there. Safety must a high priority every day of every year.
In closing, we thought it might be fun for you to see how many safety violations you could identify on our cover. So put your knowledge of safety procedures to the test and make a list of every violation you see. Then e-mail your list to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll run a short note in a future issue identifying the reader that was able to identify the most violations.