I Just Wanted To…

An article from a recent Montana newspaper describes an incident in which a sober, middle-aged man led the police on a dangerous, high-speed chase. “I just always wanted to do that,” the man said, according to the police report. The man is accused of trying to evade a police patrol by driving at high speeds and on the interstate just to see what it would be like, police reported and could be facing a misdemeanor charge for reckless driving while eluding police.
Not quite as obvious, but the same thing can be said of our actions when it comes to safety.  Each of us gets rushed or hurried or just complacent and takes short cuts that aren’t safe and may cause us to have an injury. Things like not locking equipment out, not wearing the proper PPE for the task, skipping the safety checklist. You know what they are, as you’ve probably stopped at some point and made a conscious decision to forgo following the safe way to do it.
That’s what this Montana driver did. He decided he just wanted to “do it”, so he did. Now many of you may think it’s no big deal as he didn’t get hurt during the incident. The key to this is no one got hurt THIS TIME. The scenarios are endless as he was doing what he wanted on the high speed chase. The police could have crashed, someone could have walked out in the road, he could have lost control due to the stop sticks, etc. The fact is, he not only put HIS life in jeopardy, but the lives and well-being of all those in the community. The same applies to you when you make those conscious decisions not to follow the safety procedures. You may think it will only affect you; however the risks you take can impact your coworkers and the community in ways that may not be obvious or haven’t occurred before. 
Think about that before you make that decision next time and do it the safe way.

75th Anniversary Plaque

As the year continues, so does Donley’s 75th year anniversary celebration.   

Last week Mac Donley visited the Raleigh office to discuss the history of Donley’s with the DCG team.  After the presentation, the DCG team presented Mac with a commemorative plaque celebrating the 75th Anniversary.  Ron Marion led the DCG effort in creating this wonderful gift.

It was just 75 years ago that   Don and Phil Donley established Ernest F. Donley Sons, Inc. as concrete formwork contractors by purchasing the construction department of Donley Brothers Company.  In 2009, Donley’s acquired Blair Concrete in Raleigh, North Carolina, extending its geographic range of concrete services. Four years later Donley’s opens a second Southeast Regional office in South Carolina.

Four Second Safety

Perhaps the best tool to come along in industrial construction (at least as far as safety is concerned) is the Field Level Risk Assessment or Job Hazard Analysis. Whatever you call it, this is a tool that makes everyone stop and think about the different risks associated with the task. The same principle of these risk assessments can be done in our shops. Simply take a four-second “reset”. Take four seconds before starting some new familiar task. 

This four second reset was first instituted on CN Rail. This was part of a strategy to reduce the number of very serious incidents they were having including many amputation injuries. What they found was that their employee knew the rule or procedure to do the job without getting injured but were simply not focused. Even well rested employees were getting caught up in the routine of the day and found themselves daydreaming or thinking about other things. 
This act of refocusing has been shown to reduce the probability of an injury incident by more than 90% versus not taking the four seconds. How hard is that? You may have done the task you are about to perform thousands of times before. In your mind, you know that you could do it with your eyes closed. It is usually not the task itself but some small thing you did not anticipate that causes the incident. You did not notice the debris in front of the tool you were going to pick up. You did not notice somebody placed something on the part you were about to pick up. You did not realize how heavy a piece is that you were asked to help carry. It is easy to imagine the different activities we do every day and how this applies. For example, getting in a forklift and having a quick look around. We change our thinking from where we are going to focusing on the area, road conditions, other vehicles and so on. This is the “reset” we are talking about. 
Believe it or not, four seconds is all it takes. Get in this habit of taking four seconds and it significantly reduces the chance of injury. We highly recommend this four second “reset” as an excellent way to refocus on the job at hand, and we believe that this is one very effective method to prevent injury on and off the job. 

Keeping Hydrated

We’ve all experienced it at some point when working hard or playing hard – fatigue sets in, your mouth feels dry and your legs are heavy and maybe you even get a headache. These are all common signs of dehydration.
When you are working hard, body fluid is lost through sweat. If the fluid lost through sweat is not replaced, dehydration and early fatigue are unavoidable. Losing even 2% of body fluids (less than 3.5 pounds in a 180-pound person) can impair performance by increasing fatigue and affecting cognitive skills. During the summer heat it’s easy for to become dehydrated if you don’t drink enough fluids to replace what is lost in sweat. But it is equally important to understand that dehydration even happens during the winter, because you don’t feel like you are sweating. 
However, dehydration can easily be prevented
When to drink: Ensure you drink before you start working, trying to catch-up for lost fluids after a period of time is very difficult. Also, drink before you get thirsty. By the time you’re thirsty you are already dehydrated, so it’s important to drink at regular intervals – especially when it is hot outside.
What to drink: Water is truly one of the best things to drink. Research also shows that a lightly
flavored beverage with a small amount of sodium encourages people to drink enough to stay hydrated. The combination of flavor and electrolytes in a sports drink like Gatorade provides one of the best choices to help you stay properly hydrated.
What not to drink: During activity, avoid drinks with high sugar content such as soda and even fruit juices. These are slow to absorb into the body. Also alcohol and caffeinated beverages should be avoided.
Many people ask how much to drink and that truly depends on your activity level and how much your body is losing fluids. In general, when you are working and sweating, you should drink at least every half-hour. Ensure you are drinking enough to replace your lost fluids. A good rule of thumb from a wise man says: “if you aren’t urinating, you’re not drinking enough.