Safety isn’t just about you.
In fact, safety is about everybody around you. When you do your job the right way every time, you come home to your family, and all is well. When you operate according to regulations every day, the job gets done right. This means the customers are happy and the boss writes your paycheck.
OSHA defines what we call a Tailgate Meeting as:
…an assessment of safety and health conditions related to a specific job or task. A good job briefing is also a crew participatory process of identifying and eliminating or controlling recognized hazards before commencing a task as a means of creating a safer and healthier work environment. -Tailgate Safety Topic: OSHA Job Briefing Basics
With that definition in mind, remember how important it is to hold these Tailgates as often as it takes to keep every member of the crew on the same safety page.
A good day is when you get the job done quickly, efficiently, and safely. But what about the other guys in the field along with you? Are you keeping an eye out for potentially dangerous behaviors?
Accountability in the field isn’t always a popular topic. But it stems from respect for yourself – if not for those around you. Don’t let pride get in the way. Learning to care about your co-workers is how trust falls into place.
They say a good scare is often worth more than good advice. But if you learn to listen to the good advice, you won’t need that “near-death” experience to keep you on the straight and narrow.
After all, if listening is a problem in the field, accidents will happen. A word of caution from one lineman to another may save everyone from serious injury or death.
It all comes down to trust. If you trust the guy next to you, you’re gonna listen to him and you won’t have a problem stepping in when you see him cut a corner or forget his safety gear. Like all good things, trust has to be earned. But that’s not impossible.
In fact, in a job as rough as being a lineman, trust could be the best piece of safety gear you put on in the morning.