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Carrying totin' chit and firem'n chit cards

I do live and work in the real world. In a industrial paper plant that has both on-going operations, maintenance, and construction at a large scale. We have tons of motors, steam, chemicals, and huge equipment (many cranes that can lift 10-40 tons). For many decades (1905-1980’s) we had at least one fatality, many amputations, etc etc. Stitches were common and visits to the hospital were frequent. By working on the concept that safety can be managed (it doesn’t just happen) and that every injury can and should be prevented, we have gotten to the first year with zero operational, maintenance, and construction injuries. We then had an injury at about month 14. We pick ourselves up and keep working. The plant has been in operation with about 1000 employees working 24/7 for just over 100 years. So, it has taken a lot of time, effort, money, and everyone working together to the point of no injuries. Engineers and managers are expected to spend about 20% of their job working on safety and the technicians need to constantly keep it in mind. Each recordable injury (vs. just a first aid, stiches are a recordable, a scrape is not) requires an analysis where the multiple causes are determined and changes put in place for the incident (not accident) can’t happen again. It is hard, expensive, and draining. It does work, but is very hard. Everyone deserves to have an injury free career and many are having those.

Sorry, after spending 20% of my daily life working on safety for 20 years, it is hard to not take it so seriously. Since I have such a passion for it, I am signed up to work safety at the next national jamboree. The goal is to make it the safest Jamboree ever. If we learn from past issues, I have no doubt it will be safer than the last.


@Matt.Johnson - we do indeed have a common background. My father worked for PSEG for 45 years and I spent a decade working for Gannet Fleming which created the PA utility and their turnpike.

I personally have a scar on my thumb of my off hand. And it was caused by a lapse in knife safety. All of my scouts are aware of that scar. I can’t say that all cuts are caused by a lapse in safety protocols, but I am certain most are.

I would note that if you happen to watch some of the cooking shows, it is clear that a number of cooks have lapses on safety methods.

I’m not a Chef, but a very above average cook. Son of a man who is essentially an amateur gourmet chef, and grandson of an actual chef, having inherited a number of his knives and tools.

I read your post and looked down at the scar on the inside of the pad of the left thumb. Yep, sounds right to me.

Incidentally, I also have a scar on pad of my left index finger in an almost identical position, again from user error while cooking, and one at the base of my left thumb from a scalpel slip during a veterinary surgery.

In terms of safety in general, complacency plays a role, but so does exposure. If you were doing a statistical analysis those terms interact and create a third coefficient. Complacency increases risk. Exposure increases risk. But exposure also increases complacency.


This doesn’t sound like any volunteer organization I have ever been a part of :wink:

Scouter Rob