Training is now in session; All Rise! In the last year or so, I was pressed into service by a request by my son. He and his family live in a large 2 story brick period home here in Wisconsin. Does the movie “Money Pit” ring a bell? Well it needs a lot of TLC, and on occasion you need to get a little rough with it. Starting with bathroom updates, walls and plumbing. Next, outside gutters and downspouts, and then tackling broken windows. Fifty years ago my dad taught me how to glaze windows. Little did I know that I was going to draw on that lesson and put it to use.
My son is in the trades, a Union Steam Fitter. I’ve always been impressed by the thorough training provided to them, including safety. I found out first hand, that they also train members to take it home as well. Work on the bathroom project included housekeeping, hearing, and eye protection.
Once the weather warmed we moved to outside projects. First up was the gutter replacement. I watched as he meticulously prepared himself with a fall protection harness and anchorage, as a good share of the work had to be done from the roof, and did I mention that there is a full size cupola on top of this 2 story home? He prepared the ladder with correct height, angle and distance from the base of the building, including a spotter. I was in the middle of a safety training session, and he wasn’t one bit embarrassed to use the skills and lessons he had learned. Once the old gutters and hangers were removed, the house was ready for the contractors to install new ones. Secretly I thanked God for that choice.
Fast forward about 8 weeks. It was time to take the window repair serious. A two man job for sure. These old windows were large and cumbersome. We had eight broken panes to replace. I don’t know why they don’t spell pane the right way, they’re a PAIN! Now I know why my dad always had a few choice adjectives to explain the work. Frames also needed new glazing as well. The bottom windows went fairly smooth, but the hard part was yet to come.
It was a very warm and humid weekend in August so yes heat was a factor and hydration was also in play. The hard part was the 2nd story windows. I was about to get a lesson in scaffolding, leveling, erecting and safety. I watched my son work slowly with precision and safety right down to the proper rigging to hoist the individual frame. He even showed me how to tie a secure knot (Now we’re even, I had to show him how to tie a tie). Well we finished the windows, and before we called it a day, he took extra care in cleaning up, not just storing the scaffolding and equipment, but making sure that we didn’t miss any broken glass or dropped glazing points. I don’t think I mentioned that he has two dogs and three youngsters, and was concerned for their safety also.
At the end of the day I was impressed, proud, and tired. Through these projects, and he’s a long way from the finish line, I had witnessed the results of safety training at its best. Housekeeping, PPE, hearing protection, hand tool safety, ladder safety, fall protection, and scaffolding safety. I’m not sure what’s next, but I want to thank all of you who are responsible for taking time to train our nation’s workers!
Here at safetyinstruction.com we also want to take a moment to congratulate and celebrate our nation’s workers as we approach Labor Day. Enjoy and make it a safe day. Anyone want to buy an old house?