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Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by No False Enthusiasm, Dec 12, 2014.
which is why you send Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson out ahead of you so you know what the failure modes are and what precautions to take...
Actually, you could probably just send Clarkson twice.
Now that is funny.
From Mike Rowe's website: http://www.mikeroweworks.com/2009/08/safety-third-huh/
Still a big fan of Mike Rowe. His TED talk is great too, and when he briefly talks about safety, he says the same thing as the article.
Ultimately, you are responsible for your safety, and you're the one who will face the consequences if you don't.
Good article (I am always impressed by Mike Rowe though).
I work in a large machine shop (with parts weighing anywhere from 30 tons to a couple hundred pounds) and a couple years ago we had to start wearing hard hats at all times. We thought it was silly since any part we work on can smash you regardless of what is on top of your head. One of our employees was going through some boxes on a shelf that was eye level when a pipe on the next shelf up was rattled loose and rolled towards him. Granted, when the pipe fell off the shelf and struck the employee, his hard hat did do its job. What irritated me was management kept saying "See? We need hard hats here!". Every time I heard that I would ask "Why was a pipe left up on the shelf where it could roll off?"
No one has really stated what the article means, and it bears discussion. The reason this is so controversial is that both Mike and the safety nazis are right from their different perspectives.
The safety nazis are charged with keeping EVERYONE safe. That includes the mindless hordes who either aren't able or don't bother to think for themselves and evaluate the situation at hand. Stupid, overzealous rules applied universally, regardless of whether they apply to this situation generally keep your statistics looking good.
But statistics deal with populations, not individuals. Some of us are capable of thinking. We are generally safer than the average Joe, regardless of what standard safety procedures we are or are not following, simply because we are thinking about and assessing risk in real time. It's called situational awareness.
We are even sometimes put at risk by being surrounded by those who can't think, but believe they are being safe, when in fact they have no clue. There are even some cases where risk mitigation for the masses can put those who think at GREATER risk.
This is a concept that needs to be internalized by all us motorcyclists. Especially those who are so gung-ho about following the rules. Blindly following the rules can get you dead. Rules are best regarded as guidelines. When you start treating them as immutable laws of nature, you have just switched off your brain and become a danger to yourself and others.
Simple and profound linkage of safety rules and safety awareness CTROMLEY. Nicely said.
That thing about situational awareness and mental rehearsal and option
analysis prior to emergencies is really key to selecting the best response in the split second emergency of an evasive decision-sequence.
My employees do ridiculously dangerous work. There is no way to make them safe from the inherent danger of being out on the highway. In many ways they are the same as riders. They aren't allowed crash trucks or barriers and often not even lane closures. So they are totally dependent on visibility and situational awareness.
So that is our one absolute rule. If an employee asks to be removed from a job because they don't feel safe then the crew comes in with no consequences. We may send a different crew right back out, change how they are doing the job or call it off. But we never punish somebody for saying no and we always listen to their issue.
In other words: good advice.
That says it quite well.
Glad to hear it. Some days a confident person is just "off" and/or loses their nerve.
both Mike and the safety nazis are right from their different perspectives.
But they're on the opposite ends of the divide.
Safety nazis (does this count as a Godwin?) are doing lowest common denominator policy. They may or may not be able to identify specific threats, so everyone is treated the same with a totally inflexible policy. Same as our beloved TSA, they're not smart enough to identify individual terrorists so *everyone* is treated as a terrorist.
Mike is accepting a safety policy and making it an individual responsibility and asking, "why?" on some things, which the S.N.'s can't handle.
Good reading and plenty to ruminate and chew my cud on.
Anyone from the USAF and done all the ORM (operational risk management) stuff? They still doing that?
Here's the thing, companies don't require ppe and safety procedures because they care about us as people, it's to protect their butts in case of an injury lawsuit. They comply with OSHA they look better, plain and simple.
Here at the refinery, I always train the new guys that ppe is there to protect them from dumbassedness. We wear hard hats to prevent hitting our heads on pipes, etc., but that doesn't mean I want to find out if it works. Same with fall gear (which at our company is a more sane policy, where we wear it only over 6 feet where it will actually work). I wear it when I need it, but I never want to find out if it works.
I always tell them, because I believe it, that the most important piece of safety equipment is that gray stuff inside your skull. Use that first and you'll never have to find out if the ppe they make us wear actually works (and sometimes it doesn't).
I feel the same way about riding. I wear the amount of gear I'm comfortable with the risk in, meaning full face helmet, gloves, an armored jacket, jeans (yes, I know atgatt people...) and boots. I have found out these work unfortunatelly because I rode to long and hard, got tired and instead of pulling over for the night I rode on, didn't pay attention to the gray matter and crashed. Lesson learned (but I am glad I had the jacket and fullface!). Too many riders (and yes, this is only my opinion and cannot be backed up by stats, so go easy on me people) wear attgat, high vis, etc. and don't rely as much on their gray matter. I'm obviously not slamming attgat or high vis, as I am not talking about all who wear them, but we all know there are some out there...
Engage the brain first is all I'm saying.
... the essence of "Safety Third"...
Good article. Unfortunately the typical Safety Nazi focuses on compliance, not actual safety. I have seen this countless times in my life. One of the things that the safety nazis ignore is the fact that many safety rules actually have the opposite effect from that intended. When a rule is implemented that is just plain silly, and many are, the end effect is that people lose respect for safety rules in general. Then they only obey those rules when someone is around enforcing them. When no one is looking they ignore the rules, even the good ones.
Some examples of this are the double yellow line and speed limits. I basically have zero respect for the double yellow because it is everywhere, even in places where passing is safe. The original intent of the double yellow was to indentify those places where passing was hazardous. It no longer does that. It is basically a case of the boy who cried wolf.
How about speed limits? In some places they make sense and others they are blatantly ridiculous. If speed limits where universally made in a logical manner, I would have much more respect for them and be more likely to obey them.
I was a Naval Aviator for 21 years and saw the same sort of thing then. Now I see it with the FAA. Their focus is all on compliance with the rules, not actual safety. Keep that in mind the next time you get on an airplane.
Why am I seeing this guy all over the place lately? In the past two days, I've read something about him regarding motorcycles, workplace safety and making a conscious decision to not have kids.
Because you hang out on here and Reddit and Reddit bleeds to FB on about a 2-3 day delay?
Because as long as you're thinking, no one else will ever make a mistake that could hurt you and no equipment will ever fail?
No, because if we are honest most (not all, I'm not that stupid) "accideents' both at work, at home or on the motorcycle are at least partially our fault. Probably more our fault than our egos want to admit. Keeping your head straight will prevent all of these, which makes up most incidents.