Safety First (#78/100)

Work safety – what does it mean to you?

Safety is a Mindset

Let’s take it the plain and simple way, through an example. As a carpenter’s daughter, I would say work safety means knowing how to use the saw and therefore keeping my fingers, wearing proper shoes in timber works thus protecting my toes, using helmet and so keeping my head safe. These are the minimal elements of safety: intact body parts and life.

Now let’s elaborate. IF I were a partner to my father, I would (need to) know who’s the boss, who gives orders and who does the actual work. In which language does he talk to me and whether I know the concepts. His language is definitely Finnish, but words like ”pontti”, ”viilu” or ”kakkosnelonen” would be Greek to me, unless I were a carpenter’s daughter or had learnt them by studying… Basic knowledge, guidance and common language, are the further elements to master the safety in carpentry. Before grabbing the saw.

Next case, ”experiential learning” (as we call it), this means slightly cut fingers, few swollen toes and some lost timber material. Learning by doing. No way near, ”a virtual reality”, but a Very Real Reality (VRR). This is when the learnt really integrates in your brain and turns into skills. Some of the days, everything goes well, you think you are a master and the saw is your absolute slave, but then the slave takes over and you are left with one less intact finger. This phase in the apprenticeship world is the ”apprentice” period. You learn from your successes and from your mistakes. You are the green one, the rookie of the team.

The most stubborn and persistent ones become carpenters. They twist the wood to any form they like, they vision the end result when they see the material, they respect the wood as if they were mates and partners. Which they are. As this phase of Safety at Work in Case Carpentry means, you can do it when woken up at night and not even the lights on. You are ready to work. You are ready to start a business. You are ready to create partnerships and also employ people in your carpenter workshop.

But how to become a manager of all this? That is another story.

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