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My workplace safety epiphany

By Lindsey Molyneaux (guest blogger)

I used to be the worst person to talk about workplace safety. In the past I have stood on top of ladders, climbed up fixtures, swung from shelves like a monkey. There were times when the job needed to be done and I felt the pressure of doing it more so than being safe. I figured if no one saw me, no one would get hurt. Completing the job became a priority over safety.

Then I twisted my back and things changed.

It was not the worst injury that could have happened. With the ways I have risked safety in my jobs, I should have, by all rights, been in a cast by that point.

I remember picking up a heavy box, something I did dozens of times a day. I twisted my back and it hurt. It hurt a lot. I let out an “Ow!”, but there was no one around to see what had happened.

Hurt back

“I am fine,” I thought. “Yes, my back hurts. Yes, I can hardly move but, no, I cannot take any time off work.
“I will work slower,” I told myself. Then I realized I could barely work at all. I realized maybe… just maybe… safety guidelines are here for a reason; it was quite the epiphany for me.

The following weeks were difficult, as I had quite a physical job. I was put on light duties, which helped me stay active at work, but I wanted to be back to normal. Eventually, my back healed and I was able to go back to my regular work duties.

This experience made me think. Given my history of not paying attention to safety I could have had a more serious injury. Yes, I should have been safe all along. Workers always need to be safe. I needed a wake-up call to realize this. I’m thankful my back injury was not more serious.

Now I know—no more monkeying around for me. Safety always comes first.

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