Don’t leave safety at work

We have an understanding in our household when it comes to projects.
Like a lot of men, when I get into a project, I will go full steam. So the understanding is that I won’t call for bandages unless my injury is really serious.
And before I get started, my wife firmly instructs me to “be careful” and work safely.
I am poor at cleaning up the bandage wrappers. My wife will come into the kitchen and start counting the empty wrappers, and invariably will say, “I don’t even want to know what you did.”
In almost every case, I knew better.
I have been working on making renovations at the cottage and my hands look like they have been caught in a grinder. They have caught the sharp edges of siding, more than a few splinters, and a few bruises. Both have scabs all over them.
Some of my jeans look like modern abstract art. So do a couple of dress shirts (I’ve been known to become so absorbed into doing something that I have forgotten to change into project clothes).
Detergents might remove mustard, ketchup, and spaghetti sauce stains, but they are no match for wood stains.
Ink stains from the newspaper, oil from the boat, and paint and stain from wood finishing has ruined countless shirts and trousers. My wife keeps telling me I am an accident waiting to happen—and still wonders after 30 years of marriage if I will ever learn.
In being totally absorbed in a home project, I have missed the bottom step of a ladder, cut myself with an axe, not to mention the number of bangs and cuts my head has taken mowing around the trees in the yard.
Lawn mowing should be a hard-hat task in my yard.
This past weekend, I jumped off some scaffolding that was about three feet above the ground. I should have known better because I think I have re-injured an ankle injury that first occurred last July.
This all gets me around to the fact that men become weekend warriors on projects around the home—and many of us find our way to hospital emergency rooms.
Spring appears to be a particularly bad season for us. Back strains, twisted ankles, cuts, and smashed fingers regularly are seen in emergency rooms across Canada.
The majority of injuries happen to men. We are the klutzes. Give us a tool and a project at home, and we are most likely to injure someone (most often ourselves).
In the workplace, we will take extra caution to put on hearing guards and safety goggles, as well as make sure ladders are properly secured. But when we go home, too often we leave safety at the workplace.
With all the training industries provide their employees, it shouldn’t be this way. We do know better.

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