Safety Through and Through

By ADAN Anthony Haga

Everyone has had a time when they did not get enough sleep. Some people deal with a lack of sleep better than others. One person may only feel slightly groggy in the morning, while another feels like they are the walking dead all day long. Either way, it is important to realize when you are not as well rested as usual and take the proper precautions, especially in the work place.

Feb. 16, 2017, I came to work at 6 p.m. after having stood watch from 12 a.m. to 8 a.m. the same day. I was tasked to work on an aircraft, safety wiring the beta feedback target mounting bolts on a propeller blade. As I was safety wiring the bolts, the wire snapped and penetrated my left thumb, going through to the other side.

I had followed each step of the procedure correctly and had been wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment; however, the wire still snapped and I still ended up with a piece of metal sticking out of my thumb. The only outside factor I could identify was the fatigue from working an eight-hour duty shift during normal sleeping hours; which left less alert than I should have been on the day the incident occurred.

Staying alert and practicing good operational risk management (ORM) by utilizing the following simple five-step process can help reduce the probability of a workplace injury.

These five steps are:

1. Identify hazards

2. Assess the hazards

3. Make risk decisions

4. Implement controls

5. Supervise and watch for change

Sometimes you can take all the proper precautions, but accidents still can happen. It is important to recognize all the internal and external factors that are in place. In this case, I was fatigued and something may have gotten past my usual scan. I was lucky to have been able to walk away with such a small wound and only having missed a few hours of work.

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