Job Site Safety - Common Sense
I know many like to skip over recommendations and directions, but common sense should rank high in importance. Without common sense you're likely to have problems or may run into situations that can have an effect on your personal well being. Thinking back on the job accidents I had over the years (not many) two items come to mind that were a result of no common sense.
Too Tired: If you're too tired to do the work, think of less demanding parts of the job you can do until more pressing parts requiring more concentration. I too sometimes get impatient after picking up a new power tool for example. I want to fire her up right away. Have some painting to do? My recommendation; do that work until you feel refreshed or more alert.
Angry or Upset: I'm sure there are other emotions that can be included on this page. Emotions can cloud judgment and concentration is lost; errors and mistakes happen.
Distractions: Kids are not a safe place where power tools are being used. It's also wise to stay organized. This not only includes the cutting area, but hand tools you may be using for the installation. Far too many times floors get damaged before they're done from tripping or stepping on scattered tools. Prefinished flooring comes in cardboard boxes (remove staples if present). Use cardboard or carpet scraps (fluffy side down) to place hand tools on.
Hungover: Yes, I'll admit I did drink quite a bit until I gave it up in 2002. Two accidents were a direct result of this and far too many close calls! Being hung-over does not work! Once I practically sliced my thumb off changing a sharp floor scraper blade. A few times I could have fallen on the table saw blade head first while it was running. And that tricky chop saw. I can't count the number of times I felt a breeze on the end of my finger tips when being hairs away from a spinning saw blade.
Drinking & Work: This is something I never did, though I remember some in the flooring business that did and still do.
Hard to pin point, but the sub contracting business in general seems to bring out or shape the substance abusers. Being an independent that does not work a standard 8 to 5 job may have something to do with it. Another reason could be the boss is never around. Installers, and or subcontractors work by their own schedule. Although people who contract them prefer they make some kind of consistent daily work appearances. Generally if they do great work, the problems are rarely addressed.
Being an alcoholic, I found the business right up my alley. I was not a full blown one mind you, and worked a regular 7-8 hour workday. I would often be the first on the job trying to get my mind together, finding something to do while working the booze (sweating) from my system. Besides it was easier to deal with others when they showed up later. Hard to describe, but I felt more at ease once I was into the work, rather than showing up when everyone else did. I was not into the early morning greeting chit chat because I was always hung-over.
Conclusion: Think twice if the five common sense topics above come into play, especially when power tools are involved