Report Close Calls – It Can Save A Life!
A Close Call is an event that could have caused personal harm, harm to other workers or animals on the farm and property damage or loss to barns, sheds, machinery, equipment or other farm property.
Examples of Close Calls:
A worker spotted another worker grinding without wearing safety glasses and a face shield in the machine shed. The worker reminded him that grinding wheels can disintegrate. About five minutes later, the grinding wheel broke apart sending pieces flying. The worker heeded the advice and donned safety glasses and a face shield and wasn’t hurt.
Jenna, a farm technician, was bit behind in her chores. She was using a circular saw to cut some lumber to repair a pen. Jenna went to grab a few more pieces of lumber and, picked up the saw to make the next cut, when she received a slight electric shock. She dropped the tool, suffering no injury. At this point she had an important choice to make, fall a bit further behind in her chores and potentially save a life. If she just forgot the incident, the next worker to pick up the tool may have damp hands or may be standing in a puddle of water. That worker may get a severe shock. She reported the incident, so the saw was tagged out and checked over. Tagging out the saw gives a qualified person the chance to repair or discard the saw and a chance to find out why the saw gave a shock. Was it poorly designed or manufactured? Has the insulation gotten wet or is the cord frayed? These questions were answered because Jenna made the right choice to report the near miss.
These are two examples of thousands of close calls occurring on farm every day. It’s been estimated that for every serious injury, there may be 600 close calls.
After experiencing a close call, the usual response is to dust yourself off, consider yourself lucky and go on with your work without reporting the incident. Safety has nothing to do with luck. A close call is a warning that something is wrong. Report all unsafe work practices to your supervisor.