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Tick, Tick, Tick, CRASH

In the early days of business computer systems, there was an ad for a data backup service that showed a computer sitting on a desk, with the image of a cartoon bomb on its screen. The words “tick, tick, tick, tick” ran down the side of the screen, and the caption above the photo read “It’s Not If, It’s When.”

These days it’s common knowledge that computer hard drives crash and fail, and we back up our files accordingly. There are service bureaus whose only job is to store data and ensure its security; I visited one once. It was literally an underground bunker, like something out of a James Bond movie. 

In the industry of fall protection, we sometimes take for granted that everyone should know the risks and regulations of job site fall safety, just like we all now understand the risks of losing digital data. It seems incomprehensible that someone couldn’t understand that they need to provide fall protection to their workers. 

However, not all employers know or understand the OSHA requirements, and even if they do, they often don’t know what to do or how to implement a system that will put them into compliance. Almost every day we read the articles about workers who have fallen to their deaths. We read about the OSHA fines, and surprisingly, we often read about the previous fines that were paid after failing to comply with required safety measures. Yet some employers choose to let that ticking time bomb continue to count down, rather than taking measures to prevent it.

Just like your computer’s hard drive, it’s not a question of if someone will fall: it’s a question of when. If a company’s employees are working unprotected and there hasn’t’ been an accident yet, they are running on borrowed time.

Do these employers back up their computers? My bet would be yes. They need to be reminded that their employees’ lives are far more important--and they deserve back up, too. Listen to the tick, tick, tick, and plan to do something before there is an inevitable crash.