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Let’s get repetitive… Your six safety stories!

By Matt King

Have you seen Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times? Early in the movie, Chaplin (in the clip, the dude with the ‘stache) works at a factory where he does extremely repetitive, fast work. In the clip above, the danger is obvious – his muscles are overworked, he barely gets a break, etc. – but what you don’t see is later, when Chaplin gets so sucked into his work that he doesn’t pay attention to his own safety. His body is soon brought into the machine. Afterwards, he starts to lose it, thinking everything is a bolt that needs tightening.

Repetition can affect your body and your brain, and it’s important that if you work a job with repetitive tasks, you make sure to take care of both by taking necessary breaks and readjusting your eyes every so often. Now, here are your six safety stories…

  • That danger of repetition… Dr. Don Nixdorf reminds us that there’s a hazard no matter where you work, noting the dangers of repetitive tasks in the workplace. These repeat movements and static postures can lead to serious back problems or other body strains.
  • Safety in plain sight… 14 years ago, Barry Weatherall was a plumber and hot water engineer. When some sulphuric acid exploded in his face, he suffered severe burns and was left blind. Now, for the last three years, Weatherall has been taking his story to oilpatch and construction companies everywhere, educating workers and organizations on eye safety.
  • Be safe, stat! Last week, Dr. Douglas Nelson gave safety presentations all over Northern Alberta as part of NAOSH Week. He noted that every year there are nearly 8,000 preventable deaths in North America of people under the age of 22! Nelson is part of Safestart, an organization focused on the four states that contribute to workplace error: rushing, frustration, fatigue and complacency.
  • Lost at sea… A 57-year-old Newfoundland worker was fatally crushed while working aboard a shrimp boat off the province’s northwest coast. Service Newfoundland is looking at enhancing the promotion of safety in the industry.
  • Remembering… A Camrose care worker was killed last week. The 61-year-old woman worked at an assisted living home for teens. A 17-year-old has been charged with second-degree murder.
  • In memoriam… A man died after an oil-rig accident just west of La Corey, a hamlet about 270 kilometres northeast of Edmonton. RCMP and officials from Occupational Health and Safety are investigating.

Remember, work smart, work safe.

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