Much of what Hallam-ICS does with engineering is to keep people safe, from preventing arc flashes, reducing risk of combustible dusts, Toxic Gas Monitoring Systems (TGMS), MEP, and commissioning. All our service lines have large safety components and safety permeates every level of the company. Even as the company Administrative Assistant I get the safety messages loud and clear. I have actually changed some of my behaviors at home based on better, safer practices encouraged throughout Hallam-ICS. Here are some of the ways.
Sad to say I made it to adulthood and beyond without learning basic facts about ladder usage and safety. I now know to check the weight limit for a ladder before I get on it. I also take a minute to look for rust, worn treads, anything that would make the ladder more dangerous to use. I make sure it is braced and at the correct angle for use. I don’t climb to the top step of a folding ladder. I don’t set items on the rungs that I could slip on or that could fall on someone below.
Electricity touches our daily lives in so many ways, which in turn leaves many possible points to get hurt or cause damage. Some of the changes in behavior I’ve made will help keep me and my property safer. I read how many strings of holiday lights are the max to string together. I make sure my electric cords are long enough and rated for what and where I plan to plug in. I won’t daisy chain cords or surge protectors to prevent overloading circuits and reduce fire risks. I bought a voltage tester and use it for small home repairs to make sure what I am working on is de-energized before I touch it. I also look for GFCI outlets in kitchens, bathrooms, garages, and other areas near water.
Lifting and Carrying
I’m not getting any younger and protecting my back is more important than ever. While I’ve known about safe lifting positions for decades, I am talking myself through the process every time I go to lift or carry something heavy. I get into a nice squat, hold the thing’s center mass as close to my center mass as possible and lift with the legs. I also am not above asking for help for large, awkward, or too heavy items. And I will use tools like carts and dollies any time I can. I will also break a too heavy load down into one I can safely carry. For example, I have opened many an IKEA box in my entry and carried each shelf and support separately to its final location for assembly.
Slip and Trip Hazards
I’m increasingly aware of the dangers of trips and falls as friends and loved ones have hurt themselves. My changes to reduce the risk of accidents involve both behavior change and equipment. I bought my first pair of spikes to wear while walking the dog on icy sidewalks. I wear more aggressive soled shoes when I know I will encounter slippery surfaces. I also am prompter and more thorough cleaning up spills that could cause slipping. And the hardest one to stick with: keep the stairs clear of obstacles. Resisting the urge to set things that need to go up or down on the stairs is a work in progress, and the habit I’m finding the hardest to change. This in turns reminds me that there is always room for improvement and keeping a safety mindset is a cultural change that takes time.
About the author
Jen McClory joined Hallam-ICS as the Administrative Assistant in early 2022 after 8 years working for an embassy followed by 5 years in local government. That experience on top of a BA in Political Science and study abroad experiences lead her to explore the world around her near and far, in person and as an avid reader.
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Hallam-ICS is an engineering and automation company that designs MEP systems for facilities and plants, engineers control and automation solutions, and ensures safety and regulatory compliance through arc flash studies, commissioning, and validation. Our offices are located in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Vermont and North Carolina, Texas and Florida and our projects take us world-wide.