A Reassuring Reminder

Clock winding down to 2023

In the darkness of a deep December night, he sat bolt upright in bed, startled by a disturbing dream. In it, he saw sunflowers against an azure sky, weary children with innocent eyes, tearful embraces, and sad good-byes, flash and fire, devastation, and dust, whistling shells leaving rubble and rust. And all the while he kept thinking, I’m not here; this isn’t happening. Shivers ran down his spine as beads of sweat dampened his red flannel nightshirt. In a semiconscious fog, he turned to the nightstand and peered at the green glow of the digital clock. The time was 2:24 am. Oddly enough these numbers were of some significance to his phantasmagoria.

The cinematic kaleidoscope of fractured images swirled around inside his head as the fragrance of Balsam fir fully awakened him. It was then that his dream state met an almost unimaginable reality. He tried not to rouse the missus sleeping alongside him, but it was too late. Instinctively, she sensed his distress and placed a comforting hand on his shoulder, gently guiding him back down beside her. Recounting his frightful dream, he expressed his apprehension in feeling ill-prepared to spread joy to these most deserving children in just a few short days. In a soothing voice, she reminded him of how his favorite online safety resource, the MEMIC Safety Net Blog, had laid the groundwork for yet another successful mission sure to provide an exhilarating encounter along the way. He stared at the blank ceiling pondering her account.

First, from Jennifer and Jeremiah’s joint submission, Mental Well-being During The Holidays and the New Year, he’d taken some tips for his own happiness in becoming fitter, healthier, and more productive. He enjoyed keeping in contact with old friends, mostly through the Interweb. With unease over his digital footprint, Jay’s Information Security special addition, Global Cyber Threats in the Midst of War, prompted him to strengthen his cybersecurity efforts by following the steps outlined in the alert. Now he’s a slick Nick who thinks before he clicks.  

Clayton’s composition, Don’t Brace Yourself to Prevent Back Injuries, further convinced him to get back to basics on material handling by forgoing the use of back braces and employing more effective ergonomic engineering controls. Quite frankly, he was tired of belting out “Lift with your legs and not with your back!” every time he saw someone bend over to lift a load. Greg’s Vacuum Lifters Really Suck (And That’s A Good Thing) got him thinking about optimizing his logistics operation by adding some of these devices wisely in the warehouse. Indeed, his elfin order pickers were pleased as punch with these strain-saving suckers.

Arielle’s A Toolbox Talk Reminder jogged his memory to finally speak to the woodcrafters about implementing toolbox safety talks. He was concerned their daily use of woodworking tools was creating complacency. The quick and concise meetings would help keep safety at the forefront, reminding them of the risks associated with hand tool and machinery use.

To that end, he handed the first installment, Rich Kordell’s Get The Upper Hand on Safety When Using Power Equipment, to his lead supervisor. It was a handy piece about the amazing ability of our hands and how to protect them using several tools straight out of the toolbox of safety know-how. Second in the series was a briefing on the contents of a safety data sheet using Pete’s post, I Can’t Even Spell SDS – What is it? He figured with the use of glues, paints, thinners, and other chemical products in toymaking, a review of a safety data sheet couldn’t hurt, especially highlighting section 4 on first aid and section 8 on exposure control and PPE. It seemed to him that following the recommendations in section 8 could factor out the need for section 4 altogether. That’s precisely why he upgraded the shop’s exhaust ventilation system installing Binford motors for their extra oomph.

In early November, he asked an old pal to draft an APB (All Polar Bulletin) using another Pete post titled Addressing Slips-and-Falls from the Ground Up. His longtime friend was the perfect choice to compose a message on this ubiquitous risk exposure, for old W.W. (Winter Warlock) had learned long ago how to “SAFE-ly” put one foot in front of the other whether walking ‘cross the floor or out the door.  

Natalie and Hartley’s Gasoline Storage – A Hot Issue, complete with great graphics, was a real gas to read. It compelled him to have his groundskeeping crew replace the dingy, old gas cans in the snowblower shed with rugged polyethylene safety cans. Fired up from reading Jayson’s Fuel Gas Detection – It’s a Good Idea entry, he had a qualified handyman retrofit the Blue Spruce Bistro with propane detectors, much to the satisfaction of the short-order cooks who wished to keep the flambé solely to their crêpes Suzette.

After reading Dan Thibeault’s blog, Capacitors: It is Shocking What You May Not Know, he took his cherry red ride on runners into Wynn Tur’s Restoration & Repair for an overhaul of the capacitor compartment tucked behind the Xmas spirit-o-meter. Though he liked to tinker on his gleam machine, he decided to have someone more skilled do the job after taking into consideration Anna’s drop, DIY Safety – Do It Yourself, but Don’t Injure Yourself. He knew the owner could use the work and a professional tune-up would be an uplifting experience.

From Randy Klatt’s It’s All in the Details discourse, he saluted the author’s recent retirement and strolled down to the stables to personally inspect the harness for his champion team of four-footed friends. Soon, they’d be champing at the bit to take flight on that magical night. When taking the reins, he’d leave nothing to chance.

With heavy eyelids, he gave the missus a peck on the cheek and pulled the comforter up under his snow-white beard. Calmed by her reassuring reminder, he drifted back to sleep. Soon after, he dreamt of children in warm beds peacefully asleep in a world without need for weapons of war.

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