I had the privilege of vacationing recently at a beach resort in Mexico. I had three events during the week that emphasize our continuing need to be aware of our surroundings. Our colleagues in the environmental, health, and safety arena remind us constantly of this in our work setting, but this is just as important in our home and while we are away. Let me recap these three events to illustrate:
- Look Down – As you are probably aware, it has been exactly 5 months since I had back surgery. Thus, I am still extremely careful and must adhere to many precautions to protect my back as it heals. At the resort, the concrete and tile walkways are slick… especially so when wet. Despite my caution, I fell walking down a ramp. I went from completely horizontal to completely vertical in 0.2 seconds. My wife and friends were very concerned until it was clear that no harm occurred to my back. The lesson was to look down and take small, choppy steps all the time to prevent further falls.
- Look Around – Later, while with my wife and friends, I decided to trick them. While they were in a restroom, I lay down on the walkway to fake another bad fall. Before they could come out, employees from the resort rushed over and began calling for help on their walkie-talkies. Only after standing up and explaining did they relax. Again, I was not careful to play my trick when no one else was around. It did throw a scare into my wife momentarily, though. I need to look around in the future before attempting such trickery.
- Look Up – We were told that the water everywhere in the resort was fine and safe to drink. However, after a week of this, my caution had worn off. In the airport on the way home, I needed a drink to take some medication. I drank water from the faucet in the restroom to take the pills. Immediately after, I looked up and saw the following sign on the mirror:
“Caution: Water from the faucets is not safe to drink!!!”
Oops! My failure to look up before drinking has put me into a “waiting for Montezuma’s revenge” period. So far, no problem.
So, it is good for us to heed the advice from our safety friends to survey our surroundings at all times to protect ourselves and those around us. Thanks for your great work and have a great day!