I had the good pleasure to spend two days in person with the majority of our WTS Environmental Managers this week. These are the folks that play a key role in supporting our WTS shared value of Safety Always as also elicited in our Responsible Care® Policy Statement:
Health, Safety and Security: We will provide a safe, secure and healthy work environment for all employees, stakeholders and others working on our behalf. Safety shall always be a core value of WTS.
This means Safety is not just first or a priority, it is where we begin, how we continue and remains in our thoughts, deeds, practices and mindset in all we do. Always!
During our many safety moments this week, we discussed and renewed this commitment. We warned each other of the danger or complacency. Combatting complacency starts by understanding the root cause of complacency is how our brain handles repetitive behavior. Complacency can be a result of habit. All are encouraged to be vigilant at identifying potentially hazardous situations, report safety violations or dangerous workplace situations, making sure PPE/Safety equipment is appropriate and working properly as applicable.
Further, taking breaks, striving to stay sharp and alert, especially during a time when every activity seems to require further effort, does not come together as easily as in the past and we find ourselves encountering physical and emotional burnout.
Further, we discussed the potential for heat exhaustion during the hot summer months. Some of the signs of heat exhaustion include muscle spasms or cramps, nausea or vomiting, dizziness or headache, fainting, confusion and even elevated heart rate and pale skin. Hydrating, including the day before heavy activity, frequent breaks, limit outdoor activity to the cooler parts of the day (morning or evening) keep an eye on your teammate, those around you, and pace yourself.
Our environmental managers are often in the field working with our customers to package laboratory chemicals, prepare waste and by-product shipments, oversee loading of materials for the safe off-site transfer and other on-site shipment preparation activities. During these activities, they encounter unknown chemicals and often work to identify and rule out certain potential hazards and risks.
So as a reminder to all of us, to our valued stakeholders, in spite of the new challenges we may encounter in our daily work and personal time, safety does not punch a clock, rather let’s pause, think and act safely!