For the Year it's Been

Woodland scene with midnight blue sky and full moon

With a successful countdown to magical merriment now behind him, looking down from high above, he arrives at cruising altitude. Snow-capped roofs and frosted trees speckle the frozen landscape as his steady team powers his flight on a tranquil, moonlit night. In his reverie, he sees the world pictured as a 14-year old girl had illustrated it months before – cradled in the arms of a nurse whose motherly love and compassion for humanity could not be concealed under a protective face covering. To be sure, it had been a year of great sorrow and uncertainty. Still, there was a strong force, like a beacon, that guided his way safely through this trying time. The MEMIC Safety Net Blog had once again provided a rich source of practical information he ardently put to good use prior to his celebrated journey spreading joy to all.

In a period of transition from working in an office building to working from home, Jeremiah and Jennifer’s Remote Worker Safety and Ergonomics blog clued him in on how his computer workstation, in his cozy abode, should be arranged to save him from a crick in the neck. To be spared eyestrain from staring at screens through spectacles, Danny Clark’s Don’t be in the Dark about Office Lighting entry enlightened him on adjusting the lighting in his home office to achieve that perfect, soft-on-the-eyes ambience. Indeed, he found the article quite illuminating.

With too many circuit breakers tripping and extension cords strewn across the floor in the woodworking shop, the jolly fellow took some tips from Hartley’s posts, Knowledge Trip on the Power Strip and Extension Attention! Avoiding Extension Cord Hazards, and finally called in a licensed electrician to install lots of hard-wired wall outlets, despite knowing the bean counters would be shocked by the cost. Richard Berthiaume’s New ANSI A92 Standards - Mobile Elevated Work Platforms post with Part 2 on training requirements came in handy for his dedicated decorators when stringing up the lights and decking the halls with boughs of holly. The safe use program and written rescue plan he developed would ensure that whoever went up would come down unharmed.

In keeping with Life Safety Code requirements, Jayson’s cautionary commentary, Ensuring Fire Safety While Protecting Employees from COVID-19, prompted him to dispatch his maintenance crew to check on the “closed” condition of all fire-rated doors throughout each building, including the Polar Pub. He understood the temptation to keep doors ajar to avoid hand contact on door handles, but he definitely didn’t want to compromise his workers’ safety should a fire flare up. So, signs saying, “Keep Closed For Your Protection” and hand sanitizer stations were posted throughout. It was Tony Jones’s Safety Inspections - The Hard and the Soft blog that compelled him to encourage his de facto safety deputies to engage his toymakers in conversation during safety inspections for their invaluable insight. Out in the yard, he used Allan’s It’s all about the Base, No Trouble tale, inspired by a Meghan Trainor song, to train his “heavy lifters” on the power zone of safe lifting and he planned to regularly repeat the instruction (like a broken record).

Tonya’s Choosing Cut Resistant Gloves review made him realize the loose-fitting utility gloves used in the machine shop for metalwork weren’t cutting it for proper hand protection so he issued A7-rated cut resistant gloves to his machinists who, coincidentally, were all metalheads - go figure! Shelby’s blog, Shoes That Are Good for Your Sole, prompted him to start a shoe reimbursement program, especially for his souters to ensure they were well suited with arch supporting footwear while on their feet for long hours making shoes. An accurate inventory of PPE, particularly N95 respirators as well as other types of respiratory protection, was conducted over at the infirmary after reading Luis’s report, N95 Respirators in the Time of COVID-19; Let’s Talk Fundamentals. As the designated program administrator, he also reviewed his written respiratory protection plan and validated compliance with fit-testing requirements for the N95 form of filtering facepiece. Without question, the health and safety of his nursing staff was paramount. Knowing they’d be fast on the move in attending to the sick, he implemented the use of microfiber mops to reduce the likelihood of slip-falls on the floor after reading Esther’s message in Microfiber Miracle - Taking the SLIPS out of Slip and Fall Injuries.

He thought Laurette and Jennifer’s The Force Behind Applying Compression Hose article should be required reading for all home health aides, considering the added pressure placed upon them during this emotionally stressful time. Christina’s Dementia Care During COVID-19 entry offered a recipe for caregivers, as good as any comfort food, on looking after some of our most vulnerable whose memory is forever fading. He shed a tear for all his wonderful workers who knew too well the pain of social isolation for a loved one viewed behind a pane of glass. Above all, he came to better understand the importance of clear and compassionate communication as an expression of strong leadership, kindness, and trust after reading Pete’s post, Sending the Right Message: Communicating During a Crisis. And like a child’s surprise in finding a prize at the bottom of a cereal box, he was excited to see a link to MEMIC’s podcast series at the end of the blog. Soon, to the delight of dreaming darlings, he’d begin his drop-off descent.  

For the year it’s been, MEMIC Loss Control wishes everyone peace and good cheer this holiday season.