Countdown To Magical Merriment

Happy snowman with hat, scarf, and gloves standing in a snowy field

Under a silky moon, the air was audibly pin drop calm. It was a perfect night for flight. With zero hour nine PM, all hands were delightfully on deck. In the orchestration of final preparation, there was no time for reflection over yuletide tea. Over the courtyard, passion and pride crackled like electricity with the team performing in clockwork motion, down to the last delicate detail. Together in common purpose, each and all wore a smile as wide as the moonlit sky. Quite soon, a flawless takeoff would arise from a countdown to magical merriment, culminating in the sweet sound of a child’s surprise sweeping across the world. Months in the making, twelve to be exact, the masterful mission was once again guided by that inimitable online resource, the MEMIC Safety Net Blog.

His joyous journey began with reading Allan’s article, Our Hands are Incredible Tools. Soon after, with greater respect for his amazing hands, he happily handed a pair of waterproof and windproof winter gloves to his helping hands. All were delighted and some even amused as they, of course, were the ones who made them. With attention to use whenever appropriate, an impressive hand injury reduction of 60% was realized through the year. He also became more alert to hand/wrist deviation and the risk of injury to the Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex (TFCC) from Al’s Ouch, My Wrist Hurts! Injury to the TFC Complex from Power Drills to Keyboarding blog. He never knew he had such a thing. Where possible, manual tools were replaced with powered technology and, on this night, he would remember to keep his hands straight as an arrow when grabbing hold of the reins. It was Al’s Ergonomics: Fitting the Work to the Worker post that put it all into perspective. It’s no fun being Gulliver in a land of Lilliputians where awkward posture aches a body over time. For all the “tall” toymakers, workstation modifications were in order and progressing pleasingly.   

He chuckled after reading Tom’s Space Cushion – Your Margin of Error on the Road post as he didn’t worry about keeping a 3 second buffer zone when space truckin’ over smoking chimney-tops but certainly understood the value of the defensive driving tactic. He was more concerned about his soft cushion that a few of his wellness committee members were whispering “shook like a bowl full of jelly”. Realizing that what’s out front is important to what’s out back in support of a strong spine, he resolved to view, come the first of the year, the Abs of Steel DVD series collecting dust on a shelf in his study. He’d commit to strengthening his core and planned to give Abs Strong! tees on Boxing Day to those whispering wellness “worshipers” to distribute to the rest of the group. From Mike’s Safety Leadership for the New Year post, he recognized their leadership in motivating others to live healthy. And from Christina’s CPR and AED Awareness post, he implemented an AED program in order to save a life and spare heartache to others in the unfortunate event of a cardiac arrest. Though saddened by the news on vaping-related lung illness, he was glad to learn about trip-fall solutions for those on supplemental oxygen from reading Susan’s entry, Walking on Air and Falling Flat - the Tripping Hazards of Oxygen Tubing.

He even pondered the gravity of climate change on his polar landscape from Natalie’s alert, Be Prepared from Maine to Florida - It’s Hurricane Season Again. Would he have to put the protective measures cited in Megan’s Beat the Heat blog into practice some day? And how might his safety orientation process be affected? He found comfort in Jeremiah’s Are Your Employees Safely Oriented? post that offers solid onboarding training tips.        

On a personal note, reading Mike’s Why Do You Work? What Motivates You to Come Home Safe? blog made him appreciate even more how important his safe return was to his family, friends, and community. And with thanks to Randy Klatt from the clear message contained in his blog, Hands Off the Cellphone While Driving, there’d be no more sneaking a peek at his mobile device while driving the missus around town or when soaring solo. Extending this sound advice to his crew, he quoted from a 1948 driver’s manual, cited in another of Randy’s transportation safety posts, Drive Like it’s 1948?, “Common courtesy in driving will go a long way in preventing motor vehicle accidents.

Karl’s post, What’s Your Safety Culture?, reminded him that in order to have a world-class safety culture, safety must be wisely woven into all facets of the business fabric. Taking a tip from Steve’s Forklifts - Raising the Bar blog, he bolstered his powered industrial truck safety program over at the warehouse by implementing random operator evaluations. At first his forklift operators were fearful but eventually they found the proficiency exercise uplifting.  In the woodworking shop, he beefed up the dust collection system after reading Luis’s post,  OSHA Enforcement with no Respiratory Hazard PEL - The General Duty Clause Applies. After all, as the Claus in command, he firmly felt it was his general duty to furnish a hazard-free work environment to his formers and finishers of fine furniture. From Randy Morehouse’s post, OSHA Walking Working Surfaces: Don't Get Tripped Up!, he signed a work order to replace the cage on the water tower’s 150-foot fixed ladder with a ladder safety system to prevent falls. Yes, falls had become a fixation of his with a “sooner is better than later” stance taken on prevention.

And, finally, from reading Greg’s post, It’s Friction, Baby (More or Less), he got some satisfaction in knowing that traction and thrust would be gained with every hoof beat against the frozen ground with the wondrous wax on his sleigh’s runners favoring faster lift. At long last, he was ready! Countdown commences, eight reindeer on (five, four, three), check on hitching (two, one) - Godspeed, we have takeoff!

MEMIC’s loss control staff wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season.