Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Safety Stand-Down

The weather has been rather odd the past few days.
Yesterday, we were surrounded by pogonip and it
continued through this morning. However, around
lunchtime, the wind started to pick up and it got
really nasty out. One of those days where you don't
know if it's easier to walk with the wind or against it.
Condition 1 (the worst weather category) was called
for everywhere but McMurdo and the weather here was
iffy at best. Visibility was ok, but the gusts were bad.
It was starting to get dangerous for the cargo handlers
to be outside since pieces of wood were flying about
from the waste dump. Since much of our department
does work outside, my boss's boss, Pete, called for
a safety stand-down. Everyone was gathered in the
front of the building and we talked about what to do
during bad weather, what we should and should not
do during this particular storm and what we should
do tomorrow if the storm worsens. Then he sent
us all home. Even those of us that work inside. No
sense taking chances with people's safety when you
don't have to. All of the flights today were cancelled
because of the weather so we had spent most of the
afternoon training and going over expectations for
the upcoming season, so we didn't have any air traffic
to track anyway. As far as I could tell, we were the
only department to be let loose early. That's one of
the things I like about ATO and keeps me coming
back. Not the fact that we got time off. That our
supervisors care enough to say, Hey...it's not so
important that someone gets hurt. Step away from it
and be safe
. It's lip service to some, but I feel my
supervisors actually mean it.

1 comment:

Lynn said...

Bad weather is not what you signed up for is it? Good thing you have mgmt committed to safety over looking busy. I heard a story on Saturday of a group of people made to pick up wood scraps outside in -76F in the middle of winter 2008. Most of them got frost nip!