There is No Bad Weather

IMG_4176 (1)It’s 73 degrees and sunny in New Jersey today, February 21st. (The above photo was taken just 3 days ago.)  That means that dogs that haven’t seen the ground past their own backyard since November will get walked and that wannabe Tour de France racers will be fully decked out and clogging the streets. This small burst of beautiful weather sucks people out of their houses like a strong magnet picking up a box of spilled nails.  I myself am working outside today getting a much needed dose of vitamin D.

I think people truly enjoy being out but they rarely walk the dogs, ride their bikes or push their strollers when it is not so nice. While living in Amsterdam, I learned a very important lesson – There is no bad weather – only bad clothes. What this basically means is that everyday is a great day to be outside if you are dressed appropriately. How true is that? Seriously, with rain pants, a waterproof jacket with a hood, and rain boots, you can enjoy the outdoors with the added benefit of having it to pretty much to yourself.  I have researched and purchased the warmest gloves, the best warm but lightweight jacket and warmest slip and water resistant boots and with this kit, I am free to go out no matter the weather. I love heading into the woods on days like this because no one else will be there. Perfect solitude. It’s great.

Safety often involves some very specialized clothing. There are some jobs that should not  be attempted without the right clothes. Of course you can, but you will likely run into problems, if not today, then eventually.  Think about some of the accidents you may have investigated. Were any of the recommended solutions related to clothing or most likely footwear? How many times have you seen things not go as planned, both in and outside of work because of the wrong choice of clothing or shoes?

When my daughter was young, she was riding a bicycle while wearing Crocs. If you know Crocs, you know these were not a good choice. This resulted in a fall and broken foot. My son decided to take a kayak out into the sea while vacationing in Mexico. Who needs shoes when kayaking right? While kayaking he was fine but when he stepped out near the shore – and onto a pile of very sharp coral – we all soon realized how helpful proper footwear would have been.

Have you yourself ever stopped an activity because it was either too hot or too cold? Whose fault is that? Certainly not mother nature’s. With the proper clothing you can enjoy whatever it is you like to enjoy outdoors without any hesitation. Remember, there is no bad weather – only bad clothes.

I’ll never look at trash removal crews the same

trashtruck

“With less experienced helpers, Caban taught them what they needed to know. “Place your back, your legs, and your arms like if you’re swinging a golf club,” he explained. Swinging a bag like a baseball bat will risk spraying garbage juice in your partner’s eyes or mouth. Hold the bag away from your body to avoid gashes from glass. For lighter bags, use a down-and-up-and-over torso twist-swing. For heavier ones, over 70 or 80 pounds, do a full 360-degree spin-and-drag move, not unlike an Olympic hammer throw, using the weight of the bag to gain momentum.”

The above paragraph is just one paragraph from a really disturbing article that appeared in ProPublica titled ” Trashed: Inside the Deadly World of Private Garbage Collection” by Kiera Feldman.  As a safety professional, I’m sure you will be as disturbed by the working conditions of these nighttime, private garbage collectors. I will never look at them the same way again. To read the article, click here.