Ever heard this one? “If a hen and a half can lay an egg and a half in a day and a half, how many eggs will 12 hens lay in 12 days?”
It’s an old problem and a tricky one. But if you’ve worked it before or if you tackle it now, you’ll realize there is only one correct answer.
Here’s another one: “If a worker and a half can have an accident and a half in a minute and a half, how many accidents will one worker have in his lifetime?” Well! That’s something different. It’s an old problem and a tough one to solve. But what makes it so much more complicated than the strictly theoretical egg laying deal is that it is a real-life problem and so it has many angles and many possible answers.
In the first place, who ever heard of half a worker? Then you get to thinking — some workers are just about half as thoughtful or half as careful as they should be. Would half a worker know better than to use only half of the proper tools, machinery or protective equipment required?
How could any worker or half a worker have half an accident? Well, maybe that would be one of those near-accidents that a person only half remembers and does nothing about. Then, of course, the answer to the problem depends somewhat on the severity of the accident. Maybe that one worker mentioned will have no more accidents in his lifetime because he will have no more lifetime!
The answer depends, too, on the attitude of the worker. That’s the real key to the solution of the problem. Will the worker learn anything from his one accident or his half-accident experience?
The simplest and best solution is to use the safe-work formula. Let C stand for Courtesy and Common Sense. Let S stand for Safety and Savvy, H for Hazards, T for Time, and A for Accidents. Then 2C plus 25 minus H, times T = A times 0. (Eggs — 96; Accidents — “0”)
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