Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Only one source of information

While reviewing a series of photographs, taken at the scene of a tragic crane accident, I was struck by the findings of the investigating officials; one of the primary causes of this event was the reliance of the crane operator on a single source of information about the current status of the crane. The operator relied on data being displayed on the LMI (load moment indicator) a little screen that showed the extension of the boom, the angle of the boom and the load on the crane. Sadly, the operator had not programmed the "computer" correctly, and the crane was being operated in a different configuration than the computer had been programmed to monitor. No lives were lost, but one worker sustained serious injuries that resulted in an amputation.

This got me to thinking about our daily activities, and how often do we rely on only one source of information to make critical decisions, when sometimes two, three, or even more pieces of information are available for our use in that decision making process.

When driving, for example, how often do we make a lane change, and only look in one of our rear-view mirrors? Modern cars come equipped with three. How often, when making that same lane change to we actually turn our heads to get a better view of what is in the next lane, or perhaps momentarily in our "blind spot"? Truly, what we don't see, can hurt us. When approaching an intersetion, where is our attention focused? Often, we only concentrate on the traffic light, maybe noting that it has been green for some time, and then wonder can we "make it" before it changes to amber and then red? But what about other sources of information available at that moment? Are we aware of our speed, or the road condition - rough, smooth, wet, dry? Do we get the big picture of other traffic - including others with which we share the road, such as pedestrians and those on bicycles?

I would suggest you ask yourself these questions as assess your own driving behaviors, and make it a habit to not rely on a single source of information to make what can be a critical decision.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to provide your comment on this topic. We welcome comments on your experiences in safety & health, as well as additional safety ideas and resources. Please remember to keep it clean and be respectful of others. We reserve the right not to include comments that do not pertain to the posting.