Archives for October 2012

October Newsletter

When a Minor Distraction Becomes the Main Attraction

When voltage is high or the psi gauge is in the red–these are not the time to forget priorities. But little distractions conspire to take our eyes “off the ball”. Overloaded pilots learn this survival tip early: “aviate, navigate, communicate” in that order. Why in that order? Because failure to fly the airplane is the only immediate threat. Other things can (and must) wait. A rookie mistake is to put last things first.

What is the primary duty when traveling by car? To drive it–hands on the wheel, eyes on the road, and mind engaged in safely controlling that mobile missle on wheels. But driving distractions have never been more numerous, and the temptation to give in to distraction has never been greater. Do you and your team know the priorities in your workplace when overloads and distractions happen?

Here are some examples from the news of distractions at work and on the road that get people hurt or killed:

Distracted Driver Kills Road Worker

A road worker from Hinds County (MS) is dead after a distracted driver runs off the road and hits him.
We’re told 42-year-old Joseph Woodward, Jr. was working for a contracting company that was putting down warning strips along Highway-84 in Franklin County when it happened.  He leaves behind two daughters and one granddaughter.
The incident happened around 2:00 yesterday afternoon near McCall Creek.  The driver was 19-year-old April Watson.
She told troopers who were investigating the deadly accident that she dropped a cup and reached over to pick it up.  That’s when she crashed into Woodward.  Right now, she has not been charged.  The case will go to the Franklin County district attorney.

Distracted Worker Slices Hand

A judge in Ireland has thrown out a lawsuit by a man who got his hand caught in a workplace machine. The court said the worker was “the author of his own misfortune.”
Meat factory worker Hans Kelders cut off a chunk of his hand in a ham slicer while chatting with a co-worker.
Kelders took Kerry Foods to court, claiming he was put to work on dangerous machinery.
But the judge dismissed the case, saying Kelders himself was responsible.

Distracted Roller Coaster Operator Loses Leg
This is a video of an incident in California in which a distracted worker walked in front of a children’s carnival ride and suffered the consequences of momentary daydreaming.

Finally, this article talks about the risks of distracted driving and the legal liability of companies whose workers are to blame for such accidents.

Always Have a Good Referee

With the NFL replacement refs, we saw games which at times lacked proper supervision. The game bordered on chaos as players started breaking rules to win. But in football as in life, someone has to keep the big picture. We need referees to keep us playing by the rules when our single-minded focus might cause us miss larger safety issues. Most work crews have a supervisor to referee the action, but what if that person gets fixated on the small picture and gets sucked into the same funnel as everyone else? Sometimes the only referee might be you or the little voice inside your head. 

A few months back, Odie and I made a training video based on Eastern Airlines flight 401 which crashed in into the Everglades in 1972. Why did it crash? A burned out light bulb! Doesn’t that sound like the least threatening malfunction that could possibly happen? So how does a low threat malfunction turn into 101 fatalities? A little distraction became the main attraction and a light bulb brought down a brand new airliner.
While everyone on the flight deck focused on replacing a bulb, no one had enough attention left to stand back and throw the flag or blow the whistle–to alert the pilots to the imperceptible descent toward the swamp.

Take a look at the 3 minute video trailer here and purchase the full DVD for $395 at our website.

As a special deal for you, just reply to with “Rebate” in the subject line to receive $75 rebate on your purchase.

Thanks and stay in touch,

Audie Osborn