Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Follow the Leader

About six weeks ago I was walking through my neighborhood in the morning with a friend and we came across a group of  large machinery (Earth-moving type) construction workers who were standing in a circle and it appeared as though they were getting ready to play a pick up football game because they were were drawing figures in the dirt but they were in their hard hats, safety vests, jeans and work boots. I made a comment to my friend that they kind of looked funny as we were coming upon them. The leader of the group saw us and pointed out they probably looked funny and we all laughed.  As we continued walking I realized they weren't gearing up for a quick football game but they as a group lead by their leader were stretching and warming up their muscles for the days work. It probably only took them about 10-15 minutes as a group. I've noticed over the weeks as they have continued getting this piece of land ready for houses that they do this every morning.

Stock photo
Just like we take time getting vehicles or houses ready for events or trips we need to get our bodies ready each morning for the days tasks.This little glimpse of how this company and it's foreman operate has had me thinking these last few weeks. The workers are probably healthier and have less worker compensation claims (I don't know this for a fact) because they have taken 10 minutes each morning to stretch and loosen up the muscles before they climb into or on their equipment. For my experience with our safety program, the biggest number of claims each year in workers is back injuries. We spend a lot of money on back injuries. I've worked with safety programs and employers for almost 14 years in promoting safety and I have seen that the companies that have good ratings and each year save money on their premium because of a good safety record are those that the owners or leaders make safety a priority. Those that don't it shows up in black and white when we get their quarterly safety numbers. It's apparent that the company working near my house takes their workers safety and health as well as the company's bottom line seriously.

Safety and health is an attitude. People and companies who think of the long term benefits usually make it a priority but you have to have the buy in from the leaders and the employees. You can't just say you do it you have to come along, just like the supervisor and do it with them.

I have been a runner for a few years but only recently have I really started focusing on the stretching before and after because after not being diligent in making it a habit I have found I'm spending more time in with my sports medicine chiropractor working on getting my muscles to loosen so I don't have pain in other parts of my legs or feet. I've found over the years that everything- tendons and muscles are all connected.

By taking the short time before you start working or experiencing to warm up you save yourself in the long run. You save yourselves from time off, pain and even money by taking preventative measures.

Editor's Note: I'm posting this blog as it's not a normal topic for me because both Arizona Farm Bureau and AFBF may end up using it for their blogs or papers.