Working as a health and safety professional it’s understandable that for most of us we are never able to fully switch of the need to analyse a situation for how potentially dangerous it may be and what harm could happen to us.
This fact can be seen as both perhaps a blessing and a curse. For instance, on my last holiday, my attention when arriving at the hotel was focused on ensuring I knew where all of our emergency exits were and what we should do in such an event – this was obviously a positive aspect, potentially saving mine and my young families lives by acting appropriately had something dangerous occurred during our stay there.
On the flipside this inability to ‘switch off’ cropped up again when I was partaking in an experience day I had been given as a birthday present in the form of a bungee jump from a 160ft crane in the grounds of Battersea PowerStation. Having done experiences of this nature before I was initially at ease with the event, the day arrived and eventually it became the time for me to line up to get strapped in and ready for the jump. Suddenly my mind began to race over a myriad of different things, ‘how good was this company’s safety record?’, ‘had they any previous incidents reported?’, ‘is the staff today the most competent within the company?’ Valid questions but certainly ones that created a feeling of apprehension.
By talking over this information with the organisers and gathering some very reassuring answers to the abundance of questions that poured from my brain during the set up process, my fears were quickly put to rest and as such I can testify to the organiser’s very positive attitude towards the safety aspects of their events.
The jump went without a hitch. I was smiling for a very long time that day and later on when I was able to take stock of my thought processes that morning it occurred to me…what if everyone in society paid this level of interest in their own safety. How many accidents and perhaps fatal injuries could be avoided? The event I took part in is obviously extreme by its very nature but this principal can be applied to us all in every aspect of lives both within industry and also in the private activities of our daily lives, people using media devices while driving, carelessly discarding used cigarettes, drinking alcohol beyond reasonable limits. All of these things increase the risk to our safety, let’s all take the time to just think about the impact of our seemingly mundane actions and how they could affect us or others in the future both short and long term.