Tuesday, August 1, 2017

What People Do

Was on a job in Smithfield, Rhode Island.

I turned a corner and saw a Lull in the air. There wasn't anyone in the seat and the load was suspended.

Easy OSHA violation.

So, I rounded the corner to see who was guilty when I saw the suspended load...two guys...

...standing on a pallet.

Twenty-two feet in the air.

"Oh God."

"Yo," I yelled.

I had to yell because the guy was operating a masonry saw, cutting the concrete.

No glasses, no hardhat, 22' in the air, no fall protection, Lull violation.

"What's the problem?" The bigger of the two guys asked.

"You're breaking about 8 rules," I said.

He bent down.

"I've been doing this for 47 years," he said, "but enlighten me."

Not a great start.

I read off the list of violations.

Let him know that if he was involved in an OSHA inspection the fines would be roughly $50,000.

"Ahh, p**sy shit!" He yelled.

I had the hammer.

"Regardless, get down," I said.

He swore under his breath. I pointed to a scaffold that he could use as a more stable platform.

"For your information," he said. "I don't have to wear a hard hat."

"Really? Why's that?"

"I have a medical exemption. I broke my neck and the doctor cleared me to work without one."

Sounded like bullshit, but I asked.

"How'd you break your neck?"

"In a fall," he said.

I laughed.

"Something funny?" He asked.

"You don't see the irony?"

"I'm more careful now," he said.

"Okay," I said. "This is how it's going to go. When you're on this job you have to follow the rules. You can re-break your neck on the next one."

He gave me a two word answer.

Second word "you."

First word wasn't "thank".


Do people behave as they do?

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